Chandu Borde has been actively involved in Indian cricket for over five decades now. And on Tuesday, Borde, who will turn 73 during India’s first Test in England next month, was given the tough task of serving as Cricket Manager for India’s rigorous tour to Ireland, Scotland and England, which starts in a week’s time.
Borde was ready for the challenge, despite the ambiguity about his role on the tour.
“I have been there and done that earlier,” Borde, who was busy giving interviews since late afternoon, told the Hindustan Times from his Pune residence. “I have the experience of accompanying the team as manager on a critical tour. And since we didn’t have a coach then, that experience could be handy this time around.”
However, even Borde was clueless about his designation and role on the tour.
“I am not sure about it as of now,” he said, laughing. “When Prof Shetty (the Board’s chief administrative officer) called me in the evening to formally let me know of my appointment, he said they will send the letter tomorrow. So, we will have to wait till then.”
Prof Ratnakar Shetty clarified afterwards that Borde will be the 'Cricket Manager' for the tour, like Ravi Shastri was in Bangladesh.
If one looks at Borde’s profile, it would appear that he is the ideal candidate to fit into the role of the ‘crisis man’ for Indian cricket.
Apart from being a reliable all-rounder in 55 Tests, Borde led India in a Test, then shouldered the responsibility of the team’s manager (when the concept of team coach did not exist) on its critical tour of Pakistan in 1989, and then was a successful chairman of selectors.
But from the point of view of age, his appointment is surprising. It is learnt that Borde has a problem remembering players’ names.
“For a better part of his tenure as the selection committee chief, he used to call the Indian captain ‘Gaurav Ganguly’,” a Board insider said.
Questioning Borde’s selection, the source added: “How can he manage a team when he himself needs one person to manage him.”