In yet another twist in the never-ending saga of the hunt for India’s new coach, the appointments of Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan as overseas Tests batting and bowling consultants respectively were effectively put on hold by the Committee of Administrators on Saturday (July 15).
After a meeting with Rahul Johri, the BCCI CEO, the Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji, who form the CoA, approved Ravi Shastri’s appointment as head coach and also confirmed the appointments of the support staff without naming them. However, in reference to Dravid and Zaheer, the CoA said the “appointments of other consultants will be decided by the committee in consultation with the head coach”.
The development comes despite Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, the members of the Cricket Advisory Council, writing a letter to the CoA stressing that they had appointed Dravid and Zaheer after consulting Shastri.
After the meeting, Rai said the appointments of Dravid and Zaheer were only ‘recommendations’ although the BCCI release on July 11 suggests otherwise.
“There is no such thing as a contract yet,” Rai said after the meeting. “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.
“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 we will decide after he comes back tomorrow (from England).”
The CoA also formed a four-member panel, which includes CK Khanna, the acting BCCI president, Johri, Edulji and Amitabh Choudhary, the acting board secretary, to decide on the remuneration of Shastri and the support staff.
The committee will meet on July 19 and submit a report to CoA on July 22 before a final call is made. Rai said CoA will continue to be in touch with the CAC through the process but stressed they had to ascertain if Dravid and Zaheer were available and clear of conflict of interests.
“We have taken all the recommendations of the CAC for Ravi Shastri as head coach and we will further discuss with him appointment of other coaches,” he said. “We have set up a committee and they will speak to them (CAC), communicate with them after talking to Shastri. The support staff has been decided in consultation with the head coach.
“Three appointments which are core to the coaching team have been decided. But we have to consult each one of them, we have to ascertain their willingness and have to ensure that there is no conflict of interest issue.”