The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) is learnt to have officially expressed its displeasure over the BCCI keeping it in the dark about the decision to invite fresh applications for the job of the India team’s coach after the withdrawal of Anil Kumble. At a meeting last week in Mumbai, the CoA — Vinod Rai, Vikram Limaye and Diana Edulji — questioned BCCI CEO Rahul Johri about the need to look beyond those who had already applied and why the panel was not kept in the loop. The CoA’s dissent is expected to figure in the minutes of that meeting.
According to BCCI sources, Johri’s explanation that potential coaches had stayed away earlier because of the assumption that Kumble would be retained didn’t go down well with the CoA.
“Not everybody was convinced by Johri’s explanation and Phase Two of the coach selection process was seen as unnecessary. He was even asked if new applications were invited at captain Virat Kohli’s behest,” said sources.
Earlier this month, former BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke had told The Indian Express that Kohli had favoured Ravi Shastri over Kumble a year ago.
Two weeks ago, BCCI secretary Amitabh Chaudhary had told reporters on the sidelines of the Champions Trophy that the board would share the list of candidates with the media by that evening, but is yet to do so. Sources said Shastri’s name doesn’t figure on that list, which had Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Lalchand Rajput, Richard Pybus and Dodda Ganesh.
Asked whether he had consulted the CoA before sending out the second invitation on June 23 for candidates to apply for the coach’s position, Johri told The Indian Express: “We had informed all concerned.”
But sources said that even some BCCI officials were upset with the way the selection process has unfolded, with some pointing fingers at the high-profile Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V V S Laxman.
“On one hand, the BCCI says they are just following the process of calling an application for the head coach’s job. On the other hand, they haven’t interviewed a single candidate who applied for the job so far. (Former Australia fast bowler) Craig McDermott’s application was rejected because his application was received after the deadline. After all this, the CAC endorsed Kumble without meeting any candidate. So why is there this farce of calling for applications again?” said a BCCI official.
On June 20, BCCI issued a press release, which stated: “BCCI confirms that Mr Anil Kumble has withdrawn his services as…head coach for the senior India men’s team. While the Cricket Advisory Committee had endorsed an extension to his tenure as head coach, Mr Anil Kumble has decided not to continue as the coach.”
The CAC will meet on July 10 to start the process to select a new coach.
Meanwhile, the CoA is also upset over the BCCI’s reluctance to share three managers’ reports from last year, when Kumble was coach. “The CoA wants to know that if so much was happening behind the scenes in the dressing room, did the manager flag the rift?” said sources.