After being turned down by Graham Ford, the Indian cricket board has turned to 72-year-old former cricketer and selector Chandu Borde to ‘manage’ the team for the next 100 days or so in Northern Ireland and England.
No one knows when the search for a full-time coach begins again.
Tuesday’s board meeting in Delhi also decided to continue with the players’ existing contracts. The nine-month standoff between the board and the players has been temporarily suspended. The BCCI decided that since only three months remain for the contracts to end (contracts run from October to September), they might as well revert to last year’s contract system and then re-negotiate new contracts with the players. Which means the cap on player endorsements is off for now, and graded payments are back.
Borde’s recall, 18 years after he last managed an Indian team, is clearly a face-saving measure. Sources said his name was suggested by Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri and accepted with no opposition. Borde expressed delight and surprise.
The fact though, is that nobody seems keen to become India’s coach. Worse, the board is still not seeking an infallible method to deal with the issue. So, they are not going to advertise for a new coach, they will merely “spread the word”. And there is no deadline for making the appointment.
The board laid the blame for the Ford fiasco squarely on the South African. “We asked him very clearly whether it was a question of ‘if or when’ he would join,” treasurer N Srinivasan said. “And his answer was ‘when’.”
But no one is embarrassed. “These things happen in life,” Srinivasan said. Perhaps. But they do seem to happen to the BCCI more than any other cricket board.