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Published On: Fri, Mar 2nd, 2018

National selector Venkatesh Prasad resigns

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venkateshMUMBAI :Barely a month after the India Under-19 side emerged as the world champion, chief junior national selector Venkatesh Prasad has resigned from his post. The former India medium-pacer emailed his resignation to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials and executives on Friday.
“Yes, I have stepped down from the post but would not like to elaborate on the reasons,” Prasad told The Hindu from Bengaluru, his hometown. “It’s been an enriching and satisfying journey. I would like to thank all the stakeholders I have worked with during my stint.”
Prasad, who has worked as the head of the junior national selection committee for 30 months, of late shared a cold relationship with the BCCI mandarins. It has been learnt that Prasad cited personal reasons for stepping down and has also mentioned that he doesn’t want to fall under the purview of ‘Conflict of Interest’.

“It’s still not clear but there are chances that he might be joining any IPL franchise and that’s why he wanted to avoid a potential conflict of interest,” a senior BCCI official told PTI from Mumbai.
When acting president C K Khanna was asked about the resignation, he said: “I tried to convince him but it seems he has made up his mind. He has been one of the finest talent spotters and deserves due credit in selecting a world champion junior team.”
Prasad, in 2016, was tipped to become the chairman of the senior selection committee, but BCCI decided to continue with him in the junior panel.Interestingly, Prasad is only one among the six national selectors (3 juniors and 3 seniors) to have played more international matches than all senior selectors put together (33 Tests and 161 ODIs).
Recently, after the Indian junior team won the U-19 World Cup, the selection panel was not given any cash reward. However, the senior selection panel and women’s panel had been handsomely rewarded by BCCI after both the senior men’s and women’s team lost the finals of the Champions Trophy and World Cup respectively.

COA member Diana Edulji had gone on record saying “selectors were rewarded for selecting good team” — a comment that had raised a few eyebrows as both teams lost their summit clashes.

However, many believe that Prasad had irked a senior office bearer and that is why the junior selection committee never got cash award after the World Cup triumph.

Surprisingly, Prasad did not sound anyone off during Thursday’s meeting along with his fellow selectors Gyanendra Pandey and Rakesh Parikh at the BCCI headquarters here to shortlist the Under-16 and Under-19 players for the national camp. With the junior national team unlikely to be involved in an assignment in the coming six months, Prasad’s resignation will give the BCCI enough time to find a replacement.
In fact, Prasad may have stepped down with an eye on a role in the Indian Premier League. Having served as the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling coach and a media expert earlier, Prasad may be in talks for a coaching or commentators’ role. Since the BCCI’s conflict of interest regulations no longer allow anyone associated with the BCCI set-up to take up such roles, it may have prompted Prasad to resign.
“He has been raising a request to reserve half the coaching strength in the IPL for Indian coaches, a rule that cannot be made by the BCCI since we don’t have a role to play in franchises’ coaching staff appointment,” said a BCCI official, preferring anonymity.(With Agency Inputs ).


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