Chennai: It started as speculation and escalated into chaos before the confirmation came late Tuesday night. The suspense over the appointment of Team India’s new head coach ended after the BCCI confirmed Ravi Shastri’s return. Along with Shastri, former India pacer Zaheer Khan was appointed the bowling coach for a period of two years. Rahul Dravid has also been hired as a consultant for Team India’s overseas Test tours.
“On Cricket Advisory Committee’s recommendation, we have decided to appoint Shastri as the chief coach while Zaheer will be appointed bowling coach for a period of two years,” BCCI acting president CK Khanna confirmed.
It will be third stint with the national team for 55- year-old Shastri, who was earlier a Cricket Manager during 2007 tour of Bangladesh and then Team Director from 2014 August to 2016 June during which India won Test overseas series versus Sri Lanka, reached the semi-finals of 2015 World Cup and World T20 semi-finals in 2016.
Earlier, a news agency, seeming to jump the gun, reported that Shastri was picked as coach for the next two years, but the BCCI soon came up with a clarification saying the Cricket Advisory Committee — comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman — has not taken its final decision yet.
While, Shastri was considered the frontrunner to take over as the new coach, Virender Sehwag and Tom Moody were also believed to be strong enough contenders. Though a section of the media speculated that the delay was due to the lack of consensus among the CAC members, it’s learnt that Ganguly was waiting to have a word with skipper Virat Kohli who is holidaying in the US before making the announcement public.
Ganguly was in Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon for a promotional event and he had to consult with other two members of the CAC once he reached Kolkata late night.
Ganguly wanted to take the permission of Committee of Administrators (COA) to defer the decision on the new coach, but Vinod Rai, head of CoA, made it clear that the announcement shouldn’t get delayed any further....