Ramachandra Guha criticises ‘shameful treatment’ meted out to Rahul Dravid, Zaheer Khan

Reacting to all the hustle and confusion that has taken place in selecting the support staff and coach, former member of CoA, Ramchandra Guha criticised the kind of treatment that has been given to former Indian bowler Zaheer Khan, former skipper Rahul Dravid and former coach Anil Kumble.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: July 16, 2017 4:24 pm
Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan Rahul Dravid is presently the coach of India ‘A’ team and Under-19 team. (Source: Express Archive)

Reacting to all the hustle and confusion that has taken place in selecting the support staff and coach of the Indian cricket team, former member of Committee of Administrators (COA), Ramchandra Guha has criticised the treatment that has been given to former Indian bowler Zaheer Khan, former skipper Rahul Dravid and former coach Anil Kumble.

“The shameful treatment of Anil Kumble has now been compounded by the cavalier treatment of Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid,” Guha tweeted.

“Kumble, Dravid and Zaheer were true greats of the game who gave it all on the field. They did not deserve this public humiliation,” he added.

Kumble stepped down from his post of head coach of Indian team after the conclusion of ICC Champions Trophy following reportedly having a rift with captain Virat Kohli.

There have been a lot of confusion regarding the selection of Indian team’s head coach and support staff. On Tuesday evening reports came out that Ravi Shastri had been selected for the job but the Board of Control for Cricket in India initially denied the news only to confirm it a few hours later.

BCCI’s Acting Secretary, Amitabh Choudhary said, “No decision has been made on the appointment of a new coach. The CAC is still deliberating over it.” But he did go on to say that he expected the announcement of India’s new coach by end of day on Tuesday. Along with Shastri, it was also announced that Zaheer Khan has been roped in as bowling coach while Rahul Dravid will have the resposibility of batting consultant for specific overseas tours.

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The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman picked Ravi Shastri as the Indian team head coach, while recommending Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid as bowling and batting consultants respectively. CAC on Thursday wrote a letter to CoA asking them to clear the air about selection after the members of advisory committee had been criticised.

The CAC refuted it. “There have been suggestions that the CAC has exceeded its ambit in going with Mr Khan and Mr Dravid, and that these two legends of Indian cricket have been foisted on the head coach. We also bring to your notice that the mail you had circulated to us saying that we had absolutely free hand in picking the coach of the Indian cricket team. Also we did inform you over the phone, along with Rahul Johri (BCCI CEO) and Amitabh Choudhary, of all that transpired immediately after the meeting was over.

“As we have outlined, that is not the case, and it is imperative that the public is made aware of the reality. We could do it ourselves, of course, but we don’t want to further queer the pitch. So we would respectfully request you to clear the air and set the record straight in this regard,” the three legends wrote the letter, accessed by The Indian Express. According to some reports, Bharat Arun was Shastri’s preferred choice as full-time bowling coach. The two worked together during Shastri’s stint as team director from August 2014 to March 2016 and the new head coach wanted a reunion. But Ganguly told this paper on Wednesday that the CAC had recommended Zaheer and Dravid as batting and bowling consultants respectively only after consulting Shastri. “He (Shastri) was consulted by Sachin. That’s why we had asked for time,” the former India captain had said.

Later, the BCCI in a release clarified that Zaheer and Dravid would be part of the Indian team set-up as and when the team needs them during overseas tours. The press advisory that had been sent following Shastri’s appointment as head coach on Tuesday described Zaheer as “the Bowling Consultant” and Dravid as “the Overseas Batting Consultant (Test cricket)”.

The BCCI release on Thursday, however, said: “The recommendation for Mr. Ravi Shastri was made on the merit of his presentation and the vision that he projected for taking the team to greater heights. After taking the decision on his selection, the CAC consulted him and decided on having Batting and Bowling consultants on overseas tour-to-tour basis, as per the requirement of the team.”

Now the new head coach Shastri would meet four-member comprising of Diana Edulji, member of Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA), BCCI’s acting president CK Khanna, the acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, and the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri on Tuesday  to clear the confusion about the support-staff. Reports suggest that Shastri wants to rope in Bharat Arun as bowling coach in the side.

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