Jaffer Ashique Ali has replaced S. Chandramouli as a member from the districts in the State senior selection committee. The decision was made at the season’s first Executive Committee meeting of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) here on Monday.

A right-handed batsman, Jaffer played three Ranji Trophy matches in the mid-90s scoring 77 runs at 19.25. Despite limited opportunities for the State, he made a name for himself as a punishing batsman in the TNCA first division league and in the City versus Districts matches.

The other three members of the panel will retain their posts. B. Kalyanasundaram will continue as chairman and he will once again be accompanied by S. Suresh and S. Madhavan.

There were talks of sweeping changes in the selection committee after Tamil Nadu’s disappointing display last season, particularly in the Ranji Trophy where the fancied side did not qualify for the quarterfinals. And the names of some prominent former players such as S. Sharath were doing the rounds.

The TNCA, however, retained its faith in a majority of the committee. There was a belief that Tamil Nadu’s below par displays had less to do with selection and more to do with the on-field performances from several established players.

Pre-season camp

There are indications that the selectors, with quick announcements of the coach, the captain and the vice-captain, would want to hold a prolonged pre-season camp in September — after the first set of TNCA first division matches and the Buchi Babu competition — when the chances of heavy rain disrupting the proceedings are less. This could be followed by a shorter camp in October before the Ranji Trophy begins in November.

Presently, there is only one pre-season camp in October when the threat from inclement weather looms — it was badly affected by rain last season. Then, some of the promising young cricketers are busy with the BCCI junior tournaments during this month. Another camp, conducted earlier, would also help in the bonding between the players.

The TNCA is expected to zero in on the State coach in the first week of July. This will be a big move ahead of a keenly awaited season.

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