After a month of lobbying, the drama over the new senior national selection panel is set to end on Thursday with the names of the five men to be announced by the BCCI after they are approved at its 83rd Annual General Meeting.
And unless there has been a drastic change overnight, India's national team is set to be decided for at least the next two years by Roger Binny (South), Abey Kuruvilla (West), Vikram Rathour (North), Sunil Chaturvedi (Central) and Devang Gandhi (East).
While Binny - the highest wicket-taker during India's victorious 1983 World Cup campaign is set to be named panel chief - and Mumbai pacer Kuruvilla, who opened India's bowling in 1997, were unanimous choices from their respective zones, it took a lot of convincing for the BCCI bosses to zero in on selectors from the other three zones.
East Zone saw the fiercest battle with four candidates pushed forward. Former opener Gandhi has eventually preferred over Bengal's Deep Dasgupta and Arup Bhattacharya and Orissa's Debasish Mohanty.
"The decision has nothing to do with any of them being ineligible since the rules state that if a candidate has played international cricket, he should have played his last match five years earlier," a BCCI insider clarified.
Though some of the Central Zone representatives were opposing former UP wicketkeeper-batsman Chaturvedi's inclusion citing his "lack of familiarity with players from the zone since he is based in Mumbai for a long time now", the BCCI bigwigs seem to have backed Chaturvedi to the hilt. "He has been travelling all over the country as a match referee for domestic games for a while now, so not knowing the players is a non-issue for him," a BCCI insider said.
As for the North Zone, with the BCCI and Mohinder Amarnath, the high-profile induction into the panel last year, said to have mutually agreed to end their association, ex-opener Rathour, who narrowly lost out to Amarnath last year, is set to get the responsibility.