Chetan Sharma quits chief selector post after passing several controversial comments

Indian cricket's chief selector, Chetan Sharma, has resigned after a TV network sting caught him gossiping about players and claiming the widespread use of unsanctioned injections to pass fitness tests. Sharma accused ex-captain Virat Kohli and former cricket board chief Sourav Ganguly of an ego clash in a candid conversation recorded on a hidden camera and aired by broadcaster Zee News. Kohli felt he was “bigger than the board” but felt slighted after concluding that Ganguly had forced him out of the white-ball captaincy, Sharma said.

Sharma also claimed that doctors operating outside of the cricket board’s oversight regularly gave Indian international players injections to help them pass fitness tests for selection, without giving further details. A Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official told AFP on condition of anonymity, “He has given his resignation and it has been accepted.” The Press Trust of India quoted an unnamed BCCI official who said Sharma’s position had “become untenable” after the sting.

Sharma was appointed chief selector in late 2020 and was reappointed in January after the BCCI sacked the entire selection panel following India’s dismal T20 World Cup performance last year. The former right-arm medium pacer represented India internationally until 1994 and in 1987 he was the first cricketer to take a hat-trick in a Cricket World Cup.

His exit comes in a bumper year for the international calendar, with India likely to make the World Test Championship in July and hosting the ODI World Cup from November. However, Sharma’s resignation has raised questions about the selection process for both tournaments. It also highlights the ongoing drama in Indian cricket, which has seen several top players and officials become embroiled in controversies in recent months.

The news of Sharma's resignation has sent shockwaves throughout the cricketing world, with many questioning the BCCI's ability to handle such sensitive matters. It has also raised concerns about the use of unsanctioned injections to pass fitness tests, which could potentially put the health of players at risk. The BCCI has yet to comment on the allegations made by Sharma, but it is expected that they will launch an investigation into the matter.

The timing of Sharma’s resignation is also a concern for the Indian team, which is in the midst of a busy international schedule. With key tournaments coming up, it remains to be seen who will take over as chief selector and what changes they will make to the team’s selection policy. The BCCI will be under immense pressure to find a suitable replacement for Sharma and restore order to Indian cricket.