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'Ford's exit not a lost opportunity'

Rahul Dravid says it is not right for anyone with doubts to take up the demanding job of coaching the Indian cricket team.

cricket Updated: Jun 16, 2007 17:01 IST

Indian captain Rahul Dravid on Saturday dismissed suggestions that South African Graham Ford's turning down the offer to coach the national cricket team was a "lost opportunity", saying it was not right for anyone with doubts to take up the demanding job.

"If someone does not want to do the job it's not a lost opportunity. Anyone who comes to India to do the job of coaching the Indian team or is here and selected for the job should be very clear in his mind that you are hundred per cent sure you want to do it," Dravid told reporters in Bangalore.

"(The job) Requires a lot of patience, energy and drive. It would take a lot out of you. If you have any doubts then it's right not to come here," Dravid said at the end of the four-day camp for the Ireland-bound one-day squad.

Dravid, however, refused to be drawn into the debate and said it was now for the coach selection committee to complete the task of finding a new coach to succeed Greg Chappell.

"It's the job of the coach selection committee to do that (pick the coach). It's not for me to tell them how to do it through the media," he said.

The Indian captain was sure the appointment of 72-year-old Chandu Borde as the team's manager for the two and a half month tour of Ireland and later England was just a stop-gap one and the BCCI was on the lookout for someone to do the role on a long-term basis.

"I am sure this is a short-term arrangement and am sure they will be looking for someone who will fulfil the role," he said.

He also said it was improper to keep harping on Ravi Shastri's inability to continue as the cricket manager of the team, like he did on the last tour of Bangladesh, as it was water under the bridge.

"Ravi Shastri couldn't continue. He made it clear very early on and there's no point in discussing it. If he can't do it he can't. We have to move on and can't keep harping on it," he said.

He said there was a need for a coach or cricket manager in modern cricket especially to take care of things before and after a game.

"It depends on what you call him, coach or cricket manager or whatever else. There's a need for someone to take pressure off the players outside of the cricket field. Once the game starts then it's the responsibility of the captain and the players. It's the players who have to perform and do well.

"A coach/cricket manager can make a difference in the preparation of the team before and after. Then by looking at the overall picture, sometimes by giving you ideas from outside. The off-field activities seem to be increasing now and he's there to take care of these," he said.

"As captain it's always not possible to give individual attention to all members of the team. Coaches can do that. Without the pressure of actually playing, he has the chance to look after a larger group of boys. His role is more before and after the game," Dravid said.

The Indian captain said Borde's absence at the camp could not be helped as the appointment was done late and he could not have made it to Bangalore in time.

"(The camp) was just for two or three days and I am sure he got to know of his appointment late and by the time he would have got here it would have taken a bit of time. It might have helped to get to know the boys better," Dravid said.

"Obviously Mr Borde hasn't had a chance to interact (with the junior players). We (seniors) have interacted with him a little bit when he was chairman of the selectors early on in our careers. But some of the younger boys probably did not have a chance to interact.

"But we are together for two and a half months and they will get a chance to interact with Mr Borde," he added.

"In terms of this camp we had Venky (bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad), (fielding coach) Robin (Singh) and (trainer) Greg (King). And what got the best out of what we needed to get out of this camp," he explained.

Dravid also said irrespective of the presence of a coach or manager, it was the responsibility of the senior team members to take care of the younger lot.

"Whether there's a coach or not there's a huge role that senior players have to play in mentoring the younger boys," the Indian skipper said.

"They have been doing that constantly and am sure they will do it in the tour ahead," the Bangalore stalwart added.

First Published: Jun 16, 2007 16:25 IST