Coach Selection: All eyes on Cricket Advisory Committee now

Cac comittee

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. The CAC has not gone into the details of why they chose Anil Kumble over Ravi Shastri in 2016
  2. Sources in the know of things reiterate that it’s now a race between Shastri, Sehwag and Moody
  3. Captain Virat Kohli wants Shastri to coach Team India, and so do most senior members of the team

MUMBAI: As the clock begins to tick away for the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCICricket Advisory Committee (CAC) to zero in on Team India’s new coach, a question – better asked sooner than later – has become the talking point.

How exactly do the members of this committee propose to recuse themselves from any potential conflict in settling for who they think will be a suitable candidate for the position of the national coach? To be fair, there’s no conflict to mention in definitive terms. Yet, as the word itself (conflict) continues to trigger panic in the country’s cricketing fraternity these days, there’ll be questions asked and answers will have to be given if there is lack of clarity.
To date, the CAC has not gone into the details of why they chose Anil Kumble over Ravi Shastri in 2016, knowing the latter’s contribution and who the team wanted. “If details are not given, people will speculate. Was there board politics involved? Was there an ego issue between individuals?
Was there a serious conflict of interest? And when answers to such things come out from unexpected places, they end up giving way to all kinds of controversies,” say those tracking developments from close quarters.

Shastri and Kumble, both, lived up to their roles impressively, but it is not the ability of the candidates that is coming in to question. Instead, it is the ability of the CAC to do the right thing that went unanswered last year and once again comes under the scanner.

First the facts: Captain Virat Kohli wants Shastri to coach Team India, and so do most senior members of the team. A section of senior BCCI officials are “affectionate” about Virender Sehwag, considering his stature as a former Team India cricketer but largely, the Board’s administrators believe Kohli should get the coach he is comfortable working with. Third, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) are not interfering in this matter outside of keeping an eye on the developments, so any decision taken with regards to the coach on July 10 will solely be that of the CAC comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and VVS Laxman. The last date to send in the CVs is July 9.

Considering the trio has played 447 Tests collectively and have scored close to 32,000 Test runs, it is certainly not their cricketing acumen that is being questioned. “Last year, there were 57 applicants. This year seven. So, should that make CAC’s job easier or tougher? Shastri and Kumble were among the final candidates and now Kumble is not around, so where’s the rocket science?” say sources close to the Team India camp.

It’s a well-recorded fact that with New Zealander John Wright as national coach, the team – for all practical purposes – was marshaled by Ganguly between 2001 and 2005. It was Ganguly who suggested in 2003-04 – during India’s tour of Australia – that former Aussie batting legend Greg Chappell be hired. In 2007, even as Chappell’s contract expired in the most chaotic of circumstances, it was Dravid who was the leader of the team.While Chappell doesn’t want to come on record right now, sources close to him say: “Someone should speak with Rahul and get his version. He was the boss of the team. Greg is a strong believer that the captain is the most important man in the team. The coach’s job is to support him.”

While Chappell doesn’t want to come on record right now, sources close to him say: “Someone should speak with Rahul and get his version. He was the boss of the team. Greg is a strong believer that the captain is the most important man in the team. The coach’s job is to support him.”

The question that the CAC members need to answer is if they genuinely believe the captain should have his say going forward. After all, that is how it used to be during their playing days.

Sources in the know of things reiterate that it’s now a race between Shastri, Sehwag and Moody unless a CV pops up at the eleventh hour the way it happened in Kumble’s case last year. “And we all know how it panned out,” they say.

Whatever be their internal hassles, the CAC is obligated to the cricketing fraternity in doing the right thing.

Source: Times of India

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