For more than a decade, Indian fans knew the Fab Four would bail the team out of trouble. But a cricket advisory committee announced Monday to guide a young Indian side surprisingly didn’t include the 'The Wall’ -- Rahul Dravid -- in the line-up.
Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman have been named in the panel and tasked with being batting mentor, planning overseas success and strengthening the bench, respectively.
Given the former India skipper’s standing in the game and his successful stint as Rajasthan Royals mentor, Dravid is more than qualified to be among the advisers.
It is learnt he declined the offer to join the committee, citing other commitments. However, according to some Board of Control for Cricket India officials, Dravid may have declined for reasons other than cricket.
“It seems he (Dravid) isn’t comfortable working with Sourav. That’s why his name isn’t on the list,” a BCCI official said. Dravid’s decision was but expected, said another official. “A cricketer like him wouldn’t want to be involved in a battle of egos,” he said. Dravid couldn’t be reached for comments.
Ganguly and Dravid debuted in the 1996 Lord’s Test and were great middle-order batsmen and captains but didn’t share the best of relationships.
Ganguly as skipper had asked Dravid to keep wicket to keep his ODI spot leading up to the 2003 World Cup.
In the 2004 home Test series defeat against Australia, Dravid was not amused after he was left to lead the team in the third Test in Nagpur -- on a green pitch tailor-made for Aussie pacers -- after Ganguly pulled out citing fitness.
Last year, Ganguly was quoted as saying that Dravid had said he knew about Greg Chappell’s plans to remove him and make Tendulkar skipper again and admitting to not being able to control the Australian.
Dravid denied having such a conversation with Ganguly.
Monday’s announcement rules out Ganguly taking over as India coach or performance manager. The BCCI statement did not make any mention of Dravid.
A board official said it was unlikely a coach would be announced before the Bangladesh tour that begins June 10. “Now that this committee has finally been formed, things could take a while,” he said.
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