Rahul Dravid looks all set to continue as coach of the India ‘A’ and Under-19 teams as his contract has been renewed for two more years. The terms and conditions of the contract — including the remuneration aspect — are yet to be finalised. The decision was taken by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) whose members Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman were Dravid’s long-time colleagues in the Indian dressing room.
It was decided that there would be no open interview process and calling of applications from interested candidates as originally planned. It was in contrast with the procedure that has been followed in Anil Kumble’s case. Kumble, whose contract as coach of the Indian senior team ended on Sunday (he has been given a one-tour extension), has his name put in the hat while applications from other suitors have been invited.
According to a BCCI official, a clause in the existing contract of Dravid allowed the Indian cricket board to extend his tenure without calling for fresh interviews.
“In Dravid’s contract, there is a line which states the BCCI can give extension to him. Whereas in (Anil) Kumble’s contract there is no clause of extension. That is why process (to call me applicants) was followed in Kumble’s case,” a BCCI official said. Like with the case of Kumble, COA wanted to invite for applications for India A and India under 19 coach’s job but the CoA was informed about the clause.
The appointment would now depend on the remuneration. Dravid used to draw a little more than four crores for the 10-month contract he held earlier for the similar role.
“The CAC has approved the two-year extension and now everything depends on money to be paid to Dravid. The earlier contract was for ten months and board paid him more than four crores. Now, a new contract with new salary has to be provided. There is chance that his appointment would come up at board special general body meeting,” source in the BCCI informed.
The Indian Express understands that the CAC has informed the BCCI about their decision to give Dravid the extension. The development comes on the back of Dravid seeking clarity from the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA). The COA head Vinod Rai made it clear that all contracts of the BCCI would be of two full years. It means that Dravid, if he takes up the CAC’s offer, won’t be able to do any IPL assignment anymore.
Dravid also turned down Indian cricket board’s request to be part of the selection process of U-19 cricketers to avoid any possible controversy over his presence. The team was selected on June 16, but Dravid felt he should not be part of the process as his contract wasn’t renewed, and he wasn’t the coach as a result.
Dravid had attracted criticism about a conflict of interest from the former CoA member Ramchandra Guha as he would be the junior and A team coach for 10 months in a year while taking up IPL coaching assignments for two months. It was because his contracts with the BCCI were for 10 months.
Dravid had responded to that criticism by stating that since he hadn’t bent any existing rules, and it was unfair to target him. “My simple point is that, not only me but there are five or six of us who are in the same position. There needs to be clarity. If there is clarity, we will be in a position to take an informed decision. It is disappointing the way this got played out in the public without much understanding of the background,”
The India under 19 team is scheduled to travel to England next month to play a short series.