Ravi Shastri defends himself from Sourav Ganguly salvo, says interview was at short notice
The dust from the Ravi Shastri-Sourav Ganguly feud refuses to die down, with Shastri retorting to Ganguly’s accusation that he did not respect the India coaching job enough to appear in person before the interviewing body, the Cricket Advisory Committee.
The matter was raked up by Shastri himself, who had expressed disappointment at not getting the job and complained about Ganguly’s no-show at his interview. Ganguly had then seemed to have turned the tables around by explaining the reason for his unavailability for a short time, and pointing fingers at Shastri for spending time on holiday in Bangkok at the time of the important interview.
In the latest developments in this issue, Shastri has told Economic Times Panache that his holiday had been planned before the interview had been scheduled. He has also pointed out that the option to give the interview via video call had been given to him by the BCCI, and was not his own idea. Other high-profile candidates like Tom Moody had also preferred to use Skype.
Shastri said, “I got communication from the BCCI on the 19th (June) that the interview is on the 21st. I had left for Thailand on the 15th. No one knew at that time when the interview would be. And their mail categorically said that since it (the interview call) is at short notice I could make myself available on Skype at a particular time.
“I was out of the country and the BCCI did give me the option of Skype. Besides, Tom Moody and some other candidates did the interview on Skype. What’s the difference? In this day and age, half the world operates on video-conferencing.”
Anil Kumble, who eventually got the India coaching job, is not from the ‘half the world’ referred to by Shastri. As Ganguly had said, Kumble’s 2-hour presentation in front of the CAC outweighed other applications.
“At least the people who are on the committee should be there (for the interview). One, as a respect to the guy being interviewed and two, to the job you’ve been given,” Shastri had said, throwing Indian cricket administration into a chaos.
The personal clash between Ganguly and Shastri in the aftermath has overshadowed the coach selection process. In light of this, it is interesting to recall the 1992 ODI series in Australia, when the two of them had also made news, but for completely different reasons – Ganguly, for allegedly refusing to carry drinks for his teammates, and Shastri for scoring the first double century in Australia.