The Indian cricket team’s backroom staff appointment drama rumbles on as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made a sudden U-turn on the decision to make Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan batting and bowling consultants respectively.
Dravid and Zaheer had been appointed by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman. Their appointments were announced on July 11 in a BCCI Press release signed by Secretary Amitabh Choudhary.
While there had been interim reports of some discontent in the Committee of Administrators (CoA) about the appointments of the two, the BCCI’s reversal was complete on July 15 when the head of the committee Vinod Rai issued a confirmation that the appointments were not concrete but were actually ‘recommendations’ by the CAC.
He added that the recommendations have to be consulted by the CoA along with Ravi Shastri and stated that the core backroom staff had already been decided in consultation with the newly appointed head coach.
It has now been announced that another committee involving officials from the BCCI, CoA and the head coach Shastri has been formed to decide whether Dravid and Zaheer are even required and if yes, then in what capacity. This meeting will be convened by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri.
The confusion and drama surrounding the Dravid and Zaheer appointments is another chapter in the saga regarding the appointments of the Indian team’s backroom staff.
After the resignation of Anil Kumble as India coach in June, the process to replace him and his staff seemed straightforward on paper but that hasn’t been the case.
Here, we look at the timeline of events ever since Kumble’s appointment as head coach last year.
July 21, 2016
Anil Kumble, Tom Moody and other candidates make their presentations before the CAC in Kolkata for the position of team India head coach.
Shastri, who is in Bangkok had submitted his presentation earlier and does a video interview with the CAC from Thailand.
July 23, 2016
Kumble is appointed as team India head coach, replacing Shastri who has been filling in as team director.
May 25, 2017
BCCI release advertisement inviting applicants for the team India coach position as Kumble’s one-year initial tenure nears an end.
June 20, 2017
Kumble resigns as team India coach amidst reports of breakdown in relationship with team captain Virat Kohli.
July 10, 2017
The five candidates who had applied for the position of head coach – Ravi Shastri, Tom Moody, Virender Sehwag, Richard Pybus and Lalchand Rajput are interviewed by the CAC.
July 11, 2017
Reports emerge on the evening of Shastri’s appointment as head coach which is then denied by BCCI officials leading to confusion.
Finally, late in the day, Shastri’s appointment is confirmed by the BCCI along with Rahul Dravid as a batting consultant and Zaheer Khan as bowling consultant for overseas Test tours.
UPDATE: Mr. Rahul Dravid is appointed as the Batting Consultant for overseas Test tours pic.twitter.com/mS1KcVI2Hh— BCCI (@BCCI) July 11, 2017
July 13, 2017
A CoA member suggests that the CAC has exceeded its brief in appointing Dravid and Zaheer as consultants.
The same day, CAC hits back with an e-mail to the CoA claiming they have confirmation from the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri which gives them a ‘free hand’ in deciding the backroom staff.
July 15, 2017
CoA head Vinod Rai confirms BCCI U-turn saying Dravid and Zaheer appointments not yet confirmed.
Kumble, Dravid and Zaheer were true greats of the game who gave it all on the field. They did not deserve this public humiliation.— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) July 16, 2017
July 17, 2017
CoA says another committee involving Shastri and officials from the BCCI and CoA has been formed which will meet soon to review the need to appoint Dravid and Zaheer.
All eyes will now be on the meeting of the new committee formed to look into the possibility of appointing Dravid and Zaheer.