Former greats Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and VVS Laxman on Monday joined the BCCI in a newly-constituted advisory panel to guide the board in all matters related to the game.
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur took to micro-blogging site Twitter to announce the induction of the three greats of Indian cricket, a move which was on the cards for some time.
"I welcome & thank @sachin_rt, @SGanguly99, and @VVSLaxman281 for joining @BCCI. Privileged to hv yur guidance & support, as we start a new inning!" Thakur wrote on his Twitter page.
That the trio will be part of a high-powered advisory panel was revealed by treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhary's tweet.
"Great to have @sachin_rt , @VVSLaxman281 and @SGanguly99 advising @BCCI on cricket. Their interest in youngsters shd bode well for cricket!"
The 42 year-old Tendulkar played a whopping 200 Tests (15921 runs) and 463 ODIs (18426 runs) apart from a T20 International before retiring in 2013.
The 43-year-old Ganguly played in 113 Tests and 311 ODIs for India apart from leading the country to the final of 2003 World Cup. The 40-year-old Laxman played in 134 Tests and 86 ODIs.
It has been learnt from reliable sources that Thakur and president Jagmohan Dalmiya will consult with the panel on all major cricketing decisions.
While there had been a lot of speculation of late regarding Ganguly's appointment as chief coach or team director, his appointment in the advisory panel might mean that either Ravi Shastri will continue in his current role or a new chief coach and support staff will be taking charge.
According to BCCI sources, the Indian cricketers can seek technical advise from the trio and the board wants batsmen to specifically speak to Tendulkar before any tough international assignment.
Ganguly might well be consulted for preparing a blueprint for success of the team overseas with Laxman working on the bench-strength and the new talent coming in through the system.
The Indian team will be leaving for Bangladesh on June 7 from Kolkata.
Many feel the inclusion of former captains Ganguly, Tendulkar and ex-vice captain Laxman -- who have a combined experience of 447 Tests among them -- is a big move as India head into a critical phase where their Test team will be led by young batsman Virat Kohli, while in the shorter formats Mahendra Singh Dhoni will continue to lead the side. Another batting great, Rahul Dravid, is not in the panel, however.
In the last couple of years, India's Test performance has been marked by overseas series losses in England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand that resulted in India dropping to the fourth spot in the Test rankings. They were the No.1 team from December 2009, till August 2011.
Ganguly said he was still not clear about his role in the panel, but he was happy to be clubbed with Tendulkar and Laxman.
"I have just come to know about the committee, rest I don't know. I don't even know what is the role of the advisory committee. (But) I am happy to work with Sachin and Laxman," Ganguly said.
Reacting to the BCCI move, legendary spinner Erapalli Prasanna called it a "good idea" and also urged the panel to work its way to unearth talented spin bowlers who will be serving the country for long time.
"The idea is good. They have a huge responsibility at hand. I am a keen follower of Indian cricket and what I find is a tremendous shortage of effective spin bowlers in the country. Our team can't do well if the bowling attack doesn't have good spinners. I expect the 'Big Three' look into this aspect," Prasanna said.
The master off-spinner also wants age-group cricketers to interact with the trio on a regular basis. Laxman is already associated with Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB)'s 'Vision 2020' Project where he guides talented youngsters from the eastern state from time to time.
"Another thing I would want them to do is share their experiences with cricketers at all levels, starting from grassroot. They have to take Indian cricket forward," said Prasanna.
Prasanna's teammate and 1983 World Cup winning wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani said: "I'm really glad that they have been inducted into the advisory committee. It's a move in the right direction."
But at the same time he raised a question on why BCCI was overlooking cricketers of his era who are eager to still contribute something to the game.
"No doubt, the BCCI is the best sporting body in the world and they're looking after their former cricketers like no other association. There're no two ways about it. But why are the veteran cricketers of my era like Mohinder Amarnath, who have taught and inspired these recently-retired cricketers, are forgotten? That's my only question," Kirmani seemed a trifle upset with the board for overlooking cricketers from 70s and 80s.