Rahul Dravid has turned down Indian cricket board’s request to be part of selection process of U-19 cricketers to avoid any possible controversy over his presence. Dravid’s two-year contract as U-19 coach ended in March and he felt that he wasn’t authorised to attend the meeting as his contract hasn’t been renewed yet. The Indian junior team is scheduled to play two four-day games in England next month and the selection would take place on June 16.
It’s learnt that Dravid is willing to coach U-19 team in the future, but wants more clarity about the role to avoid any criticism of conflict of interest. “Dravid has informed BCCI that he won’t be attending selection committee meeting as he doesn’t want any controversy. Dravid contract is yet to be renewed and as he is no longer the coach of India Under 19 team. He said that it will be unfair on his part to attend the meeting without owning the job,” sources in the BCCI told The Indian Express.
Dravid’s decision would be seen in the light of the recent criticism directed against him by Ramchandra Guha, who issued a statement after resigning from the Supreme-Court appointed Committee of Administrators. Guha didn’t explicitly name Dravid but there were no doubts about the identity of the player in question.
“The BCCI has accorded preferential treatment to some national coaches, by giving them ten month contracts for national duty, thus allowing them to work as IPL coaches/mentors for the remaining two months. This was done in an adhoc and arbitrary manner; the more famous the former player-turned-coach, the more likely was the BCCI to allow him to draft his own contract that left loopholes that he exploited to dodge the conflict of interest issue,” wrote Guha.
Dravid responded to that criticism by stating that he hadn’t bent any existing rules, and it was unfair to target him. “By the BCCI’s conflict of interest rules, I was absolutely not under a conflict of interest. If the rules have changed midway through the contract, then I think it is unfair to criticise me for breaking the rules or twisting the rules to suit my convenience.”
The COA eventually responded to the developments and its head Vinod Rai made it clear that all contracts of the BCCI will be of two full years, which means Dravid can’t do any assignment of IPL anymore, if he wants to coach the U-19 or India A team.
Applications for U-19 coach
The Indian cricket board has decided to replicate the process it follows to appoint the senior team’s coach and has invited application for U-19 coach. Like his former team mate Anil Kumble, Dravid too will get a direct entry in the coaching application process. “We would be following the same process followed to select the Indian national team coach for the junior team as well. It was approved by COA in the last meeting and Dravid will get direct entry in the selection process,” BCCI official informed.