Mumbai: Despite all the odds being in Ravi Shastri’s favour to land the Indian cricket team head coach job, Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) member Sourav Ganguly took some convincing, before the appointment was actually made.
The CAC, which is a three-member panel also comprising of Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, has been tasked with interviewing candidates for the post that was left vacated by former coach Anil Kumble, who stepped down after India’s loss to arch-rivals Pakistan in the summit clash of the ICC Champions Trophy, last month.
Although the committee appointed Shastri as the head coach, Ganguly, had to be convinced of the decision, and only agreed to the appointment, on conditions that legendary paceman Zaheer Khan be appointed as the bowling coach, while former India captain Rahul Dravid be appointed as a batting coach (or consultant) for the overseas tours.
Ravi Shastri is said to have wanted experienced bowling coach Bharat Arun.
Ganguly and Shastri have not had the best of relations, as the two greats of Indian cricket reportedly fell out last year, ahead of Kumble’s appointment as the head coach of the Indian cricket team.
Shastri, who was considered the favourite to land the job, was given the snub, while the former leg-spinner was appointed, before a war of words ensued between Shastri and Ganguly in the media.
"Sourav was brought around and convinced about Ravi after it was agreed that Zaheer would be made the bowling coach. Zaheer is such a name that no one could have possibly objected to due to his repertoire of and a fantastic relation with the current crop," a BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
There was much confusion surrounding Shastri’s appointment on Tuesday, with media reports in the evening suggesting that BCCI has already appointed the cricketer-turend-commentator.
However, BCCI secretary Amitabh Chaudhary, while addressing the media after the board’s Special General Meeting, denied these rumours.
“CAC is still deliberating. Formal announcement could be made later,” said Chaudhary.
The announcement was finally made official late at night, leaving a lot of room for questions regarding the confusion.
"Shastri has been the Team Director in the past, and brings with him a wealth of experience, both as player and as coach," Choudhary said in a media release after Shastri’s appointment.
"Khan is a contemporary cricketer who assumed the mentoring role to a young fast bowling unit even during his playing days with India. His inputs will be of immense value to our young fast bowlers, who have shown tremendous potential in the last couple of years," he further said.
While it is not clear as to what caused the confusion, it is understood that a delay in the contract negotiations of Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid postponed things....