What’s the story?
The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), consisting of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, has cleared the air of doubt surrounding the appointment of Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid as India’s bowling and batting consultants.
The three veterans explained this in a letter that was addressed to Vinod Rai, the chairman of BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA). The CoA allegedly stated that the CAC had overstepped its job by not just appointing the head coach (Ravi Shastri) but also adding the names of Khan and Dravid into the mix.
"We spoke to Mr Shastri about getting Mr Khan and Mr Dravid on board in these capacities, and he readily agreed to the idea of having them in the set-up so that it would benefit the team and Indian cricket as a whole in time to come. It was only after getting Mr Shastri's consent that we also recommended Mr Khan and Mr Dravid, in their respective capacities," said the CAC, as reported by the Times of India.
While speaking with the TOI, Ganguly, who was clearly offended by the whole issue, stated, “We'd spoken to everyone, including Ravi and Virat, before making these appointments."
In case you didn’t know...
After Anil Kumble’s resignation from the post of head coach of the national team, the CAC appointed Shastri after interviewing six candidates for the job. In addition to that, the committee also decided upon Khan being the bowling consultant of the team and Dravid accompanying the team for overseas tours as a batting consultant.
The five other candidates who had applied for the job of the head coach were Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Lalchand Rajput and Phil Simmons, but Shastri edged them due to his experience of working as the team’s director from 2014 to 2016.
The legendary trio of Indian cricket has definitely not liked the way things have panned out before and after Shastri’s appointment. The letter expresses hurt and disappointment on their part and its words are sharp, to-the-point and direct.
Now it is time for everyone involved to play a waiting game till Rai responds to the letter publicly. The fact that it is coming from such gigantic names of Indian cricket means that the CoA cannot stay mum after such strong words have been directed towards it.
Meanwhile, the Indian team will tour Sri Lanka later this month and will play 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and 1 T20I against the hosts. While Shastri is set to accompany the team for the tour, it is to be seen if Khan will be a part of the support staff as well. Dravid is likely to be absent from the same, considering he has to coach the India A team for its South Africa tour, that clashes with the senior team’s schedule in Sri Lanka.
Every time a regular Indian cricket fan hopes that the drama surrounding India’s coaching saga has come to a close, a new controversy pops up. Ever since the rumours of Kohli’s rift with Kumble sprung off the grapevine a week prior to the Champions Trophy in June, there has been constant speculation around the job.
It really is time for everyone related to this coach’s appointment to let go of this matter and focus on the on-field cricket. The 2019 ICC World Cup isn’t too far away, and Indian cricket has a more pressing issues than asking questions like who appointed whom and what-for.
As far as it goes with the CAC’s role in the matter, it was perfectly clear that the committee holds the entire power with respect to the head coach’s appointment. Hence, their words make sense in this scenario, as their actions are not subject to judgement if they had the monopoly that they were promised.Published 14 Jul 2017, 10:48 IST