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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014
BCCI on why Ravi Shastri has been asked to take the reins
Sai Prasad Mohapatra, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, August 19, 2014
First Published: 17:50 IST(19/8/2014)
Last Updated: 18:09 IST(19/8/2014)

The BCCI on Tuesday appointed former all-rounder Ravi Shastri as the director of the Indian team for the ODI series against England, sidelining head coach Duncan Fletcher.

It is not the first time that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has turned to former India skipper Ravi Shastri at a time of crisis. After the first round exit in the 2007 World Cup, Shastri had managed the team for the subsequent tour to Bangladesh.

While a question mark looms over the future of current India coach Duncan Fletcher, the BCCI has taken its first corrective measure in putting Shastri at a supervisory role after the disastrous five Test series in England, that led to a 3-1 defeat of the MS Dhoni-led side.

HT's Sai Prasad Mohapatra spoke to BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel and here are the excerpts of the interview:

Question (Sai Prasad Mohapatra): What prompted you to appoint Ravi Shastri as the best man to do the job as team director? What sort of considerations were thought through?

Answer (Sanjay Patel): Given Ravi Shastri's knowledge about the game - both his understanding on and off the field - we felt he is the right fit to take over the role. It's always been the case with him whenever we have needed his help in the interest of the game and for the betterment of Indian cricket, his support and ready willingness is overwhelmingly encouraging. When we approached him this time, he promptly took up the responsibility.


Q: Did he approach you or is it the other way around?

A: Let me put the record straight. I have been working on it since the last two weeks and was in touch with him. So, it was me who approached him first, not the other way around.


Q: What entails his role? Will he have an overriding influence on all matters both managerial and tactical, and over and above the brief of coach Duncan Fletcher?

A: The team is under his supervision now, entirely. His role will be important in working out what is best for the team in conjunction with the present team management and coaching staff. In tandem with coach Duncan Fletcher, he is expected to drive the team exercising his role. Whether on-field or off-field, that we have left entirely up to him.


Q: Are you keen to continue with Shastri going forward or it is just a piecemeal arrangement?

A: His role at the moment is limited to the ODI series in England. Whether we would carry on in the future it is too early to commit. But we will wait for the reports of the team management first.


Q: Will there be an inquest into the series defeat?

A: Yes, we will wait for the series to get over first. Will wait for the management, which includes the coach and manager's reports be tabled before us. Only then will we be able to assess what is to be done next.


Q: What is the future of Joe Dawes and Trevor Penny? Are they as good as gone?

A: It's too premature to say that. We have given them a break. Will see what and how things unfold in the future.


Q: The recent India-Pakistan relations at the political and diplomatic level has escalated. How much of a bearing will it have on the proposed series between the two countries in the provisional FTP of the ICC in which India and Pakistan are to play in December 2015?

A: Our position is very clear. Anything and everything to do with playing cricket with Pakistan will be determined by our government and its policy. And we will continue to respect that.


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