India cricket board sacks selectors after humiliating T20 World Cup exit

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Hardik Pandya walks from the field as rain delays play during the first Twenty20 match between New Zealand and India at Sky Stadium in Wellington on Friday. AFP

India’s cricket board has sacked its entire selection committee, led by former fast bowler Chetan Sharma, and put out the call for replacements after the team’s humiliating T20 World Cup exit.

Rohit Sharma’s men suffered a 10-wicket thrashing by England during the semi-final at Adelaide Oval last week, prompting fresh soul-searching by a team that last won a global title at the 2013 Champions Trophy.

Their exit dismayed India’s legion of diehard fans and prompted calls from commentators and the public for heads to roll.

A major shake-up had been mooted since the day after the loss, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) took a big step on Friday evening when it issued a statement inviting fresh applications to fill all five positions on its selection panel.

It comes a month after World Cup winner Roger Binny was appointed head of the cash-rich board to replace Sourav Ganguly, who was reportedly forced out in a political tussle.

Reports after the England defeat also said the T20 squad will undergo a major transition, with prominent senior players including Rohit, Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin being gradually eased out. Rohit, 35, currently leads India in all three formats of the game.

The Indian Express newspaper said the new selection panel would be entrusted with the responsibility of appointing separate captains for various formats.

“Split captaincy was the likely direction in which Indian cricket will go after its major ICC trophy drought continued,” it said in a Saturday report.

Hardik Pandya, who is currently leading the Indian T20 squad for a short three-match series against New Zealand, is the favourite to take over the reins in the shortest format.

The all-rounder this year led Gujarat Titans to their Indian Premier League title in their inaugural season.

India’s first match against the Black Caps was washed out on Friday without a single ball bowled and the teams next meet Sunday at Mount Maunganui.

Agence France-Presse

 



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