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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Sourav Ganguly & Co might be powerless if Lodha report implemented

BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman may lose a lot of their hold if Lodha reforms are implemented in the near future.

cricket Updated: Jul 19, 2017 19:01 IST
Abhishek Paul
Abhishek Paul
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
BCCI Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) member Sourav Ganguly speaks at a press conference on the Indian cricket team coach selection.
BCCI Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) member Sourav Ganguly speaks at a press conference on the Indian cricket team coach selection.(PTI)

The selection process of the head coach and support staff of the Indian cricket team has been a rocky ride. Ravi Shastri surely emerged a winner. On the other hand, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman – or BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) – have repeatedly cut a sorry figure.

Starting from July 11, when the first announcement about the new coaching staff was made by the BCCI, till Tuesday, when Bharat Arun was named the bowling coach, the role and influence of the CAC have come under question.

What did the three stalwarts of the game gain out of the entire process? If and when the Lodha Panel recommendations are put in force, the CAC will have no relevance or sanctity.

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The Lodha recommendations, which were approved by the Supreme Court as per its order on July 18, 2016, states: “The men’s selection committee shall select the senior national team for representation in Tests, One-day Internationals, Twenty20 and any other format. This committee shall also be responsible for vetting and selecting coaches and support staff (physiotherapists, trainers, therapists, analysts and medics) for the respective teams.”

Currently, the three member selection panel has chairman MSK Prasad, Devang Gandhi and Sarandeep Singh. Initially, the panel comprised five members, Jatin Paranjpe and Gagan Khoda being the other two. It was pruned as per the directives of the Supreme Court on Lodha committee’s recommendations.

However, the BCCI and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chose not to empower the selectors to pick the coaching staff.

No clear role

The Lodha panel added in its report that the clear role of CAC has not been explained, saying: “As was the case with the recently constituted ‘Cricket Advisory Committee’, the members themselves find no roles assigned, nor instructions given as to what is to be done.”

With CAC mainly an advisory body, there always remains a provision to overrule its decision. In the current coach conundrum, it has happened.

And it has led to huge embarrassment, particularly for Ganguly, Laxman and Tendulkar. On July 10 after the interview process, Ganguly said: “We’ve decided to put on hold the announcement of the coach. We need a few days to talk to a few more players and the captain before making an announcement because we feel there is no hurry at the moment.”

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The very next day, when the Committee of Administrators asked the CAC to announce the name of the coach, Ganguly was stumped: “CoA was party to this decision (to defer the announcement). Need to speak with them to figure out what has changed. I don’t know what the hurry is when there is time.”

Late night on July 11, the BCCI issued a statement confirming the appointments of Shastri as head coach, Zaheer Khan as bowling consultant and Rahul Dravid as batting consultant for overseas tours.

But again, CoA chief Vinod Rai caught the CAC unawares. He said Zaheer and Dravid’s appointments are only recommendations and an official confirmation can come only after discussions with head coach Shastri.

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Ganguly, however, insisted Zaheer has been offered a “150-day contract” with the Indian team.

A source in the know of the developments told HT: “He (Zaheer) would be at the most required for 30 to 40 days in a year and the BCCI cannot match his IPL contract for just these many days. It is up to him to decide now.”

Zaheer is a mentor-cum-player with Delhi Daredevils and will have to forgo other assignments if he wants to be associated with the Indian team.

Amid all this drama, it’s the CAC (read Ganguly, Laxman and Tendulkar) which has been left embarrassed, time and again.

First Published: Jul 19, 2017 18:29 IST

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