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Harbhajan Singh reveals what it takes to be India’s chief selector

Former India off-spinner and World Cup champion, Harbhajan Singh, has stated that the role of chief selector for the Indian cricket team needs to be more lucrative to attract experienced cricketers. He suggested that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should consider paying a higher salary to hire an esteemed name for the job. Currently, the chief selector earns INR 1 crore annually, while other members of the selection panel receive INR 90 lakh per annum.

During an Idea Exchange session of The Indian Express, Singh emphasized that only a decent package could attract renowned names towards the job of a selector, as former cricketers are often serving broadcasters as commentators or experts. Singh cited the example of Virender Sehwag, stating that “A man with stature, one that has played the game quite often, will solve a lot of issues at the selector level. But why wouldn’t they take up the opportunity? I’ll give the example of Virender Sehwag. If you ask Virender Sehwag to become the chief selector, then the salary of that post needs to be analysed.”

Singh also spoke about the importance of the chief selector’s stature and experience, stating, “If a man like Rahul Dravid is made the coach, then the chief selector must have the same stature as well – jiski awaaz mein dum ho, jiske wajood mein dum ho (whose voice and stature carry weight).” He added that if the BCCI wants experienced cricketers like Sehwag to take up the role of chief selector, then they must be willing to pay a higher salary.

Singh was also asked if he would consider taking up the post of chief selector if offered, to which he responded that it would depend on pay parity with the national coach. “The job of the coach is to stay with the team and plan around the team. But team selection is also an equally important job. You have to pick and select the best players and if you don’t select players that are needed by the coach or captain, then the chief selector’s position doesn’t have value,” he concluded.

Currently, the selection committee for the senior men’s team does not have a chairman after the resignation of Chetan Sharma following his involvement in a sting operation on a news channel.