Calcutta, Aug. 7: Unless the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) has a rethink, it will nominate former India off-spinner Gopal Sharma to succeed Madhya Pradesh’s Sanjay ‘Gentleman’ Jagdale as Central Zone’s representative on the (senior) national selection committee.
A replacement is needed as Jagdale is just weeks from completing four years — the maximum permissible at one stretch — as selector.
As with the other committees, the one specific to the five selectors is constituted at the Board’s AGM, usually in the second half of September.
“As of now, only the formalities remain… Within the zone, it’s our turn to nominate (the selector) and our mind has been made up — Sharma is the chosen one,” a top UPCA functionary told The Telegraph this evening.
Incidentally, the last UP nominee was Anand Shukla, elder brother of Rakesh.
Sharma, now 44, played five Tests and 11 ODIs between 1984-85 and 1990-91, picking up ten wickets in each form.
As a player, Sharma was very much the low profile type. It’s to be seen whether he turns hyper-active when made to sit on a much-sought-after committee.
While one change is inevitable, on account of Jagdale, there already are whispers that another too may come about.
Except the chairman (South’s Syed Kirmani), who is completing his first year on the committee, the others — Kirti Azad of North, East’s Pranab Roy and Kiran More of West — have been around for two years.
Somebody like Pranab isn’t ‘threatened’, but it’s not insignificant that More came under much pressure from Maharashtra in the last AGM.
More is from Baroda.
The next committee, of course, isn’t going to have much time to settle down: The Test series against Australia won’t be many days away.