‘No TA/DA shall be paid’. This was the last line in the advertisement put out by the cash-strapped Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) when it invited applications for the post of national coach in April.
Contrast that with the first-ever advertisement released by the Indian cricket Board on Wednesday to find a suitable candidate to take over as India’s chief coach. Hitherto, the influential BCCI has only shortlisted candidates and called them for interviews before announcing their choice.
Unlike the Pakistan board, money is not a criterion for the Indian Board, which paid Rs 2.62 crore as professional fee to under-19 coach Rahul Dravid.
However, its advertisement gives the impression that is more an effort to show how transparent it has become and at the same time suggesting that it may already have jotted down the names of its preferred candidates.
Scanning the nine-point criteria mentioned in the advert raises doubts over the BCCI’s seriousness and professionalism in throwing open the field.
“That can be your opinion and if you think that is why we are doing this process, we respect your opinion but I cannot agree with it,” BCCI secretary, Ajay Shirke, said in response to a query by HT on Thursday.
The BCCI was caught on the back foot after its advertisement said, “It is desirable to communicate in Hindi and other regional Indian languages.” That made it appear that it only preferred Indian candidates.
An embarrassed BCCI issued a clarification on Thursday, amending the line thus: “The ability to communicate in an Indian language is desirable but by no means mandatory.”
The PCB advertisement, on the other hand, is specific. “At least 5-year experience in a similar cricketing role with the elite national or international team. Test/ international cricketer would be preferred; however first-class cricketers having more than 10-year experience may also apply.”
It makes it clear that the post is open to everyone with the requisite experience.
The word ‘experience’ is missing in BCCI’s 384-word advertisement that defines the criteria for the applicants.
Even words like ‘Level one, two or three coaching certificates’, familiar in the Indian coaching set up, are not mentioned. Interestingly, many former India players with rich experience are not eligible to coach because they don’t have a ‘level one, two or three’ diploma.
And when modern technology is crucial in international cricket coaching, it seems computer literacy is not required for the new coach. So, the BCCI may have to appoint an assistant to help him work on coaching software such as Silicon Coach, Dart fish or Cricstats.
As the word ‘preferred’ dominates the advertisement, it seems BCCI feels anyone can coach India.
While it misses out on most of the important points, the BCCI emphasises on the need to communicate in the national and regional languages.
However, this belies the fact that the national team was coached by foreign coaches John Wright, Greg Chappell, Gary Kirsten and Duncan Fletcher from 2000 to 2015, until Ravi Shastri took charge on his own at the end of last year’s World Cup Down Under.