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Rainy welcome for Pawar

cricket Updated: May 19, 2007 21:24 IST
Akshay Sawai
Akshay Sawai
Hindustan Times
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Sharad Pawar, the Man in White who's the administrative boss of the Men in Blue, arrived in Chittagong on Saturday morning to a rainy welcome. Niranjan Shah, secretary of the Indian cricket board, Rajeev Shukla, the vice-president and Ratnakar Shetty, the Chief Administrative Officer accompanied the president on their one day trip even as rain messed up the second day's of the first Test between India and Bangladesh.

Pawar and the rest of the officials reached the hotel at 10.30 am. While Pawar went straight to his room after the obligatory floral bouquet, Shah and Shukla stayed back to meet Indian journalists attempting to crack the Dav Vinci code – the Dav Whatmore story.

While both stuck to the Board line of the last few days – that they are here to watch the match and strengthen relations with Bangladesh cricket - Shah hinted that a meeting with Whatmore could take place. He was, however, clear that Pawar wouldn't meet him.

"We have come here on an invitation from the Bangladesh Cricket Board to watch the game. We had come here hoping to see Sourav (Ganguly) and Sachin (Tendulkar) score a century. We have not come here to talk to Whatmore. If he wants to meet me, I am open to it. There is no problem… (cricket manager Ravi) Shastri is here to talk to him. Pawar will not speak to him."

Shukla said the Board had not taken a decision as to whether to name a foreigner as coach or an India. "We are keeping an open mind," he said.

Decision by June 9

Shah said the seven-member committee appointed to select the Indian coach had planned to meet in Bangalore on June 4. "Four or five days after that meeting, we should be able to take a decision," he said.

The Indian team is expected to leave on a tour of Ireland and England on June 20. "We might have a camp for four or five days before departure. That would help the team and the new coach to get used to each other."

Separate teams for Ireland, England

Shah said the selectors might pick separate teams for the tour of Ireland and England. India will play three one-day matches against Ireland and South Africa in Ireland followed by a One-day International against Pakistan before crossing over to England (for three Tests and seven ODIs) and Scotland (for one ODI).

"We might decide to go with separate teams with a few players common to both units," Shah said.