The national selectors will be in South Africa during the Indian Premier League (IPL). Chief selector K Srikkanth will travel as brand ambassador of the Chennai Super Kings, while Yashpal Sharma will be a match referee. Narendra Hirwani, Surendra Bhave and Raja Venkat will also be in Rainbow Country.
It’s understood that the BCCI wants the selectors to keep an eye on the Indian players ahead of the T20 World Cup to be played in England from June 5 to 21. The selectors, who have already named 30 probables, are expected to name the final 15 by May 5.
Sharma didn’t confirm whether his posting is final, but sources said he would indeed be in South Africa. “The BCCI will ask us (selectors) to go.
“I have not received any communication from the IPL yet. The BCCI and the IPL governing council will have to decide. If they require my services, I am happy to provide,” Sharma told HT.
This will need a bit of multi-tasking because apart from keeping an eye on the Indian players, the former India batsman and member of the 1983 World Cup team will also have to maintain law and order.
Srikkanth’s association with Chennai Super Kings means he will mainly be watching matches involving his team. “He was brand ambassador before becoming a selector. His duty is to increase the fan base of the Chennai Super Kings,” said team official Kasi Viswanathan.
“As such, he has hardly any direct involvement with the team think tank. He doesn’t interact with the players during matches either. There will be no clash of interests with Srikkanth being the brand ambassador of CSK and a selector,” he said.
The Chennai Super Kings have reduced additional baggage and left out Tamil film star Vijay, who was part of the team’s publicity wing last year. “It would only be percussionist Sivamani cheering for us in South Africa,” said an official.
South African umpire Marais Erasmus has been invited by the IPL to officiate in matches. “I was invited to India for IPL,” Erasmus, the ICC international panel umpire who was in India for two Duleep Trophy matches early this year on an exchange programme, told HT from the land of Proteas.
“Anyway now (that IPL is in South Africa), it will mean that my family will see more of me,” he said before adding he has not yet been given his schedule in the IPL.