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Zaheer, Dravid were recommendations, not appointments, claims CoA

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Vinod Rai (Image credit: NewsX)

Kolkata: On the 11th of June, the Cricket Advisory Committee appointed Ravi Shastri as the head coach and named Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid as the bowling coach and overseas batting consultant respectively.

As reported on this portal, the BCCI has been making several U-turns on this since Tuesday and now, in a similar move, the Committee of Administrators has come out to state that the names of Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid were just recommendations that needed to be consulted with the head coach before making any sort of an appointment.

Shastri on the other hand would now he to choose his own support staff and most likely to go for Bharat Arun as the bowling coach instead of Zaheer. For both Dravid and the left-arm paceman, a committee has been formed which would decide as to whether they were required at all or not and if required​, their terms of engagement would be discussed.

BCCI’s acting president CK Khanna, secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and CoA member Diana Edulji would be a part of this committee which would discuss these things with Ravi Shastri in a meeting convened by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri.

On July 11, the Cricket Advisory Committee ended the uncertainty about the new coach as a BCCI release stated, “The BCCI announces the appointment of Mr. Ravi Shastri as the Head Coach, Mr. Zaheer Khan as the Bowling Consultant and Mr. Rahul Dravid who will be the Overseas Batting Consultant (Test cricket) for the Indian Cricket Team.”

The release also appreciated the work of the CAC in the appointment​ of Shastri and it was signed by Amitabh Chaudhary. Two days later, the CoA claimed that the CAC had gone out of it’s ambit and named the two consultants alongside Shastri. But the three member body comprising of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman was quick to retaliate saying that these decisions were taken after discussions with Shastri.

But on July 13, CoA chief Vinod Rai confirmed, “There is no such thing as a contract yet,” referring to Zaheer and Dravid’s appointment as bowling and batting consultant respectively. He also added, “It is not an appointment. The recommendation has been made. And the CoA has to act on the recommendation. That recommendation will be acted upon in consultation with the head coach.”

While commenting on Shastri having his choice of support staff, he said, “The support staff has been decided in consultation with the head coach already. There is going to be a core support staff, which will be fielding, batting and bowling, which has been decided. Any other ancillary etc, he [Shastri] will be coming back tomorrow [from England] and we will decide.”

These comments by Rai definitely go against an unsigned BCCI release on July 12 titled, “COA hails CAC coach recommendation” where it was stated, “The Cricket Advisory Committee has made its recommendation regarding the coach. It is a comprehensive recommendation covering all aspects of the coaching requirement of any team. They have applied themselves to the cause at hand with dedication and commitment. This is exactly what we had expected from a committee of such distinguished cricketers. On behalf of all interested in ‘Cricket India’, BCCI and the COA, I thank them for the service so willingly rendered by them. We accept their recommendation in totality.”

The release further wished the new coach along with it’s support staff good luck for the 2019 World Cup.

It read, “Now that they have made the choice, we sincerely feel that the new combination will steward the team to number 1 position in the World Cup.

We need to put the immediate past events to rest and wish the team, the Captain, coach and support staff a very ‘happy Innings’ in the run up to the World Cup.”

Other decisions made on Saturday

  • The advertisements for the job of the team manager for the senior side, India A and the Indian U-19 side should be made with the last date for the submission of application for the senior team being July 21. The manger would be appointed for a one-year term. The person should be a college graduate,​ and it would be even better if he was a first-class or international cricketer, and carries with him the experience of managing a state team in India or an international side. The applicant could also have an experience of working in the public or private sector for 10 years as an alternative but must possess, “sound knowledge of cricket and playing conditions.”
  • Khanna, Edulji, Chaudhary and Johri would meet Shastri on the 18th of July to confirm his requirements and appointments and also to discuss the financial terms of the contracts. They choose the manager on July 22.
  • The BCCI office-bearers would now be invited to the meetings as decided by the CoA to ensure proper coordination among the officials.

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