Neetu David, the former India left-arm spinner, has been appointed as the chairperson of the new women’s national selection panel, with former cricketers V Kalpana, Arati Vaidya, Mithu Mukherjee and Renu Margrate the others in the panel.
ESPNcricinfo understands that no clear tenure has been defined for the new selectors yet, but their first assignment would likely be to select the squads for the upcoming three-team Women’s T20 Challenge, slated to be held from November 1-10 in the UAE alongside the IPL 2020 playoffs.
The BCCI had put out an advertisement on their website inviting applications in January. In it, while the criteria were listed – the age limit was 60, international playing experience was mandatory, and the candidates should have been retired for at least five years – no details of the tenure of the new appointments were provided, and there was no update in the board statement issued on Saturday.
It, however, remains unclear as to who selected the new selectors.
According to the board’s constitution, the Apex Council is required to direct the BCCI to choose the selectors, and then the panel is “to be appointed by the BCCI at the Annual General Meeting [AGM], on such terms and conditions as may be decided by the Apex Council from time to time”. In the case of the latest appointments, it’s worth noting that the BCCI had postponed its September 30 AGM indefinitely because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In late July, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had told ESPNcricinfo that the board “will start making the appointments [in due course of time]” because there was no cricket on, and the lockdown had meant no proper meetings at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.
“It is going to take some time because this needs following of protocol as interviews will need to be taken by a committee as per the BCCI’s new constitution, and this will have to be cleared by them, and it’s very difficult to do it without a face-to-face meeting,” he had said. “Since there is no women’s cricket at the moment till October, I think we will get it done before that.”
Central zone’s David was appointed the chief of the panel on account of her seniority over Kalpana (south), Vaidya (west), Mukherjee (east) and Margrate (north), the usual rule with such appointments.
David, arguably the best female spinner to have played for India, took 182 wickets in her international career, 41 in ten Tests and 141 in 97 ODIs, between 1995 and 2008. She continues to hold the world record for the best innings figures in women’s Test history, her 8 for 53 against England in Jamshedpur in November 1995 still the only instance of a woman picking up eight wickets in a Test innings.
The previous selection panel, led by Hemlata Kala, was handed an extension in October last year and officially finished its term on January 22, after the final of the quadrangular series featuring India A, India B, Thailand and Bangladesh in Patna. Members of the panel, though, were in Australia for the T20 World Cup in February-March.