Shiv Sunder Das could be interim chairman of selection committee

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Shiv Sunder Das BCCI

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New Delhi: As former India pace bowler Chetan Sharma resigned from the post of chairman of the senior selection committee following a sting operation by a news channel, where he allegedly revealed confidential information, former India opener Shiv Sunder Das is seen as a possible replacement and can be appointed as interim chairman.

Das has played 23 Tests, the most number among the current lot in the selection panel.

"Chetan has tendered his resignation to BCCI secretary Jay Shah and his resignation has been accepted. His position had become untenable after the sting operation. He resigned voluntarily and wasn't asked to resign," a senior BCCI source told PTI on the condition of anonymity on Friday.

Chetan was in Kolkata along with other selection committee members for the Ranji Trophy final between Bengal and Saurashtra. They were there to select the Irani Cup team.

But once his resignation was accepted, Chetan left for Delhi and avoided the waiting media at the airport here.

During the sting operation, conducted by Zee News, Chetan had alleged that a lot of players took injections to expedite their return to competitive cricket despite being only 80-85 per cent fit.

The former player also alleged that there was a difference of opinion between him and the team management over pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah's return from a stress fracture for the T20I series against Australia in September last year.

He also claimed that T20I captain Hardik Pandya, pace bowler Umesh Yadav and Deepak Hooda regularly visited him at his residence.

Chetan also spoke about the relationship between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma and alleged that there was an ego tussle between Kohli and former BCCI president Sourav Ganguly.

It is learnt that Chetan's alleged remarks did not go down well with the BCCI top brass, and the current national squad members also lost trust in him.

"Coach Rahul Dravid, captains Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya have completely lost faith in him. He couldn't have possibly sat across the table along with them for selection committee meetings as he had lost all respect. He paid the price for being a big mouth," said another BCCI source.

It is understood that senior members and support staff of the Indian team had communicated their mistrust to the top BCCI officials.

Chetan was allegedly lured into the sting operation on the pretext that his inputs were required for research work for a docu-series on a popular OTT platform.

"The call came when he was in between his two stints (as chairman of national selectors) and perhaps spoke a bit more... like insinuating that Hardik Pandya would chill out in his Delhi residence. Hardik has never been to his house. Saying things about Virat Kohli...," a BCCI source said.

Chetan and the entire selection committee had earlier been sacked following India's semi-final exit from the T20 World Cup in Australia. He re-applied for the post and was re-appointed as chairman.

Chetan, a handy pace bowler, who played when Kapil Dev was at the helm of Indian cricket, is the country's first hat-trick man in ODI World Cup. But Chetan is best remembered for being hit for a last-ball six by Pakistan's Javed Miandad during the 1986 Asia Cup final in Sharjah.

The sting operation is a big blow to relationship between the players and the media. The BCCI is likely to issue a gag order on players and officials from speaking to the media in future.

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