Venkatapathy Raju, whose current stint as a national selector from South Zone ends this month end, has been contacted by the Orissa Cricket Association to coach their Ranji Trophy side for the coming season, 2008-09.
The former India left-arm spinner will accept the offer if his stint as a selector is not extended by the BCCI under the new criteria — as a paid selector.
“If BCCI extends my stint as a selector, I will not be able to accept the offer to coach Orissa,” Raju told HT over phone on Friday. “That will be a fully-paid job.”
Raju, who had earlier maintained that he would want to move on with his professional interests in coaching once the honorary job of a selector ended this month end, had to rethink as the selectorial job is going to be fully-paid and more responsible. “I have to move on with life,” said Raju.
How did the Orissa role come about? “Fellow selector Ranjib Biswal asked me what my plans were after this stint. I said my interests were in coaching. He offered me to coach Orissa.
“Moreover, Debasis Mohanty and Shiv Sundar Das have played with me. I will sign with Orissa after the September 27-28 BCCI AGM is over.”
Going by the practice of states taking turns in nominating a selector, it is now Karnataka's turn to have a national selector from the zone. There are other strong candidates for the selector's post from South with the names of Gundappa Viswanath doing the rounds and former left-arm spinner Raghuram Bhat has also evinced great interest in the post.
But that was in the previous system when the selectors were not fully paid. Now with the new system, the ball is in the BCCI's court in picking the selectors.