New Delhi:In a further hardening of stand, BCCI today said chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar was free to quit and ruled out amending guidelines relating to the conduct of the selectors.
"...these guidelines cannot be withdrawn. So Vengsarkar is free to take his decision," BCCI vice president Rajiv Shukla told reporters amid reports that the chief selector was keen on putting in his papers.
Shukla said Vengsarkar had told BCCI if the guidelines issued by the board were not withdrawn then he would like to step down.
"Now the official position is those guidelines have been framed keeping in mind the constitutional provisions and well-established rules and regulations and they cannot be withdrawn" he said.
The board recently issued seven-point guidelines, which prevent the selectors from writing columns when on office. Vengsarkar agreed to stick to the guidelines but sought compensations for that.
Accordingly, the board set up a two-member committee, comprising IS Bindra and Arun Jaitley, which shot down the possibility of any compensation, which angered Vengsarkar.
A miffed Vengsarkar returned home from Kolkata and also met fellow selector Ranjib Biswal in Mumbai.
Sources close to the chief selector told PTI that it was just a matter of time before Vengsarkar puts in his papers.
Borde may come in
The board has made contingency plan to get former India captain Chandu Borde as chairman to preside over the selection committee meeting to pick the India squad for Australia later this month.
The board is believed to have sounded Borde on Sunday night to be ready to take over the job.
If Vengsarkar does not relent and decides to quit before Wednesday, then Borde will, in all probability, chair the crucial selection committee meeting in Bangalore, to pick the squad for the Australia tour.
It was Borde who bailed out the board by agreeing to be the cricket manager on India's tour of England in the summer after Ravi Shastri expressed his inability to continue as manager after the Bangaldesh tour.
In a last-ditch effort, East Zone selector and president of the Orissa Cricket Association Ranjib Biswal rushed to Vengsarkar's residence in Mumbai to prevail upon him not to act rashly.
The message to Vengsarkar was loud and clear when board vice-president and spokesman Rajeev Shukla hurriedly called a press conference on Sunday afternoon to state that the chief selector had offered to resign.
It is intriguing that such a statement has come from the board's spokesman, considering that it has always taken a conservative approach to controversial issues and tried to play them down.
Normally, the board tries to hide such information and lets Vengsarkar to make all the moves.
But this time the board has been livid with him as he chose to serve an ultimatum that if it does not withdraw the guidelines issued to the selectors by Wednesday, he will put in his papers.
Pawar, after consulting his senior colleagues, decided that the board should come clean on the issue, whatever be Vengsarkar's stand, and tell the world that he has threatened to quit without referring to the deadline.
That explains the haste with which Shukla decided to call the press and make the half-baked announcement.
What he did not say is that the board has decided not to cajole Vengsarkar to even reconsider his decision, though it was said for public consumption that he had been asked to keep national interest in mind and select the squad for Australia before sorting out other issues.
(With IANS inputs)