- Arun will join the Indian team on a two-year period until the end of the 2019 ICC World Cup
- While current batting coach Sanjay Bangar has been elevated to the title of assistant coach for the same duration
- The decision to appoint Arun, as well as promote Bangar and extend Sridhar’s contracts, was taken by the CoA chairman Rai
NEW DELHI: The Indian men’s cricket team will have its first bowling coach in over a year in the capacity of the man who last held the position – former India and Tamil Nadu medium-pace bowler Bharat Arun, who on Tuesday was reappointed to the role he fulfilled during Ravi Shastri‘s tenure as team director from August 2014 to April 2016.
Arun will join the Indian team on a two-year period until the end of the 2019 ICC World Cup, while current batting coach Sanjay Bangar has been elevated to the title of assistant coach for the same duration. R Sridhar will continue as fielding coach. Interestingly, the trio had been roped into the Indian team’s backroom personnel in August 2014 as assistants to then coach Duncan Fletcher during the rejig after the 1-3 Test series loss in England, and were praised by Shastri following India’s win in the subsequent ODI series win on the same tour. While Bangar and Sridhar were given one-year extensions in June 2016, the Indian cricket team has not had a bowling coach since Arun’s contract expired last year.
What is not clear yet, however, is the nature of the roles of Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid with the current Indian team, a week after the board’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman had suggested their names – a fact that had not gone down easily with recently appointed head coach Shastri.
Shastri, addressing the media today, did say this on the matter: “It all depends on for how many days Zaheer and Dravid want to assist team. Their services are most welcome.”
The decision to appoint Arun, as well as promote Bangar and extend Sridhar’s contracts, was taken at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai by the chairman of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) Vinod Rai after he heard recommendations from the four-member committee formed in the wake of Shastri’s appointment to take a call on the assistant coaches of the Indian team. The latest committee consisting of acting board president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and original CoA member Diana Edulji on Tuesday consulted with Shastri, who in an interview to TOI last week stated emphatically that “as far as a full-time support is concerned, I will need to decide on it because it is me who will be working with them for next two years.”
Shastri’s comments to TOI came less than two days after the former allrounder turned TV commentator and analyst, who played 80 Tests and 150 ODIs and led India in one Test, had been confirmed as India’s next coach to cap a dramatic day of much speculation and second-guessing. After nearly six hours of interviews inside the corridors of the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai last Tuesday, Ganguly told reporters that the announcement had been delayed because Virat Kohli, at the time out of the country, had to be apprised of their decision before the next coach could be revealed.
Not long after, Chaudhary denied reports that Shastri had been appointed, instead stating that the CAC was still “deliberating” on the matter. A few hours later, just before 11pm IST, the BCCI released an email confirming that Shastri had indeed been appointed, and that Zaheer had been named “bowling consultant” and Dravid “overseas batting consultant (Test cricket), each for a two-year period ending after the 2019 World Cup.
On Monday, news emerged that Shastri had recommended to the BCCI that Arun, who played two Tests and four ODIs in the 1980s, and was a former international and Under-19 level team-mate of Shastri’s, be appointed bowling coach of India. For the record, Arun, Bangar and Sridhar were singled out by Shastri following India’s win in the ODI leg of the England tour three years ago, and it was hardly a month later that the combination of bowling coach Joe Dawes and fielding coach Trevor Penny agreed to have their contracts terminated by the BCCI – the overseas pair were contracted until the end of the 2015 World Cup – and Arun, Bangar and Sridhar’s contracts extended upto the same period.
Source: Times Of India