Professor Ratnakar Shetty, the chief administrative officer of the Indian cricket board, has been in England for a while, enjoying the game and "doing a bit of work as well".
Inevitably, Shetty was asked what the latest news on the coach-finding mission was, but he did not have happy news to offer. "Well, there’s no development on that front," Shetty said. "Chandu Borde was appointed the manager till the end of this tour, and immediately after that, the team goes to South Africa for the Twenty20 World Cup.
"So, to be honest, I don’t think we’ll have a new coach by then."
<b1>Twenty20 is the game for the young — this is the reason Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly withdrew from the South Africa event. India, thus, will definitely not take along someone of Borde’s vintage — excellent though it might be — so there is no possibility of him getting an extension for South Africa.
Interestingly, the Indian team manager Rufus Rockey — who moonlights as the media manager — was vigorous in his praise for the contribution of Borde, the 'cricket manager'.
"His contribution is huge, all the senior batsmen go to him for advice,” Rockey said. “And also the bowlers, for he has the experience of playing in these conditions. He is extremely involved with the team’s plans.”
Yes, that may be so, but why this sudden assertion of Borde’s undoubted excellence, his contribution to India’s performances?
Well, it seems that a newspaper report suggesting that Borde was getting on a bit had stung the management, and thus this elucidation.
Cricket for all
One can't imagine this sort of thing in India — in front of the new Fox Road stand, right at the ground level, the space is reserved for some special spectators. Wheelchairs, up to 50 of them, line up the front of the stand, their disabled occupants enjoying the game from close quarters. Many of them are accompanied by attendants, as some of them have to be taken care of through the day. But all of them are having a good time. All for cricket, cricket for all — this dictum is actually given shape here.