Sharma is chief selector, Abey pips Ajit from West

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Former India pacer Chetan Sharma was on Thursday appointed the new chairman of national selectors after the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising Madan Lal, RP Singh and Sulakshana Naik filled the three vacant posts.

Sharma will take over from Sunil Joshi, who was appointed chief selector last March, because of the seniority factor. Sharma has 23 Tests and 65 ODIs, while Joshi has played 15 Tests and 69 ODIs.

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Debasish Mohanty was picked from the East Zone, while Abey Kuruvilla hails from the West Zone. Their performance will be reviewed after a year by the CAC. The new-look selection committee is completely dominated by bowlers-Sharma, Harvinder Singh, Kuruvilla, Mohanty and spinner Joshi.

There was fierce competition within the West Zone since Ajit Agarkar and Nayan Mongia were in the reckoning. Agarkar played 26 Tests, 191 ODIs and four T20Is, while Mongia figured in 44 Tests and 140 ODIs. However, the CAC went for Kuruvilla, who has played 10 Tests and 25 ODIs.

Kuruvilla, who was a junior national selector from 2008 to 2012 and headed the panel when Unmukt Chand’s India won the U-19 World Cup, was delighted with the appointment. “I am very pleased and happy. I will give my best,” Kuruvilla told mid-day.

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He is pretty active on the local circuit through his association with the DY Patil Sports Academy teams. Agarkar was understood to be a favourite, but Kuruvilla had the complete backing of the Mumbai Cricket Association and that may have tilted things in his favour.

During the interview, candidates were asked about split captaincy and how they would have handled the controversy concerning Rohit Sharma’s selection for the Australia tour.

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