The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday formed a Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. According to a senior BCCI official, Rahul Dravid was approached, too, but he “declined the offer” citing personal commitments.
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 1, 2015
“I’ve to check what exactly is going to be our area of work. Will come to know in a day and or two,” Ganguly said.
It is, however, learnt that the new committee will take every major decision related to the Indian cricket team. To start with, it will nominate the new coach. The position has fallen vacant following Duncan Fletcher’s departure at the end of the World Cup.
The committee will also oversee the Indian team’s preparation before every major series and will call for a report from the team management at the end of it. It will set the roadmap and guidelines for the future tours. It will also provide tactical inputs if needed. On high-profile overseas assignments, the committee members might accompany the players and coaching staff.
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) June 1, 2015
The new committee will have its first meeting on June 6 in Kolkata, which will be attended by BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, secretary Anurag Thakur and the cricket board’s general manager (cricket operations) MV Sridhar as well.
New coach on agenda
The role of the committee members is expected to be more elaborately defined in that meeting. First and foremost on the agenda is the appointment of a new coach or team director. After a meeting with Dalmiya last week, Thakur had said they would pick the right candidate by June 5. But it now appears unlikely.
According to board sources, with the Bangladesh tour starting from June 10, the coaching group of Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar are set to be retained. “The BCCI is likely to request Ravi Shastri to continue as team director for the Bangladesh tour. If he’s not keen on working stop-gap, Ganguly might accompany the team,” said the source.
There might be previous instances of roping in former cricketers in advisory roles, but this is probably the first time that the BCCI has constituted such a high-profile committee to advise on cricket matters.
After losing 15 overseas Tests in the past four years, the Jagmohan Dalmiya-led cricket board appears to be hell-bent on improving team’s performance on the road. Ganguly, who masterminded India’s performance overhaul away from home at the turn of the century, will look after India’s overseas success. Tendulkar will be in charge of batting, while Laxman will take care of the talent pool.
“Areas of immediate focus will be to provide guidance to our national team as we set out to enhance our performance on overseas engagements, provide direction to improve our talent pathway and take steps to strengthen domestic cricket to better prepare our players to handle the rigours of International Cricket,” said the BCCI release.
“The Committee will advise the BCCI on various progressive steps which are needed to be taken, that will enable Indian Cricket to be better prepared for the challenges of the future,” it added.
Dalmiya thanked the cricketers for lending their active support to Indian cricket. “I am happy to note that our eminent cricketers have come forward to lend their experience and insights as we work towards a common goal of taking Indian cricket to greater heights. The coming generations are bound to benefit from the guidance that will be provided by these luminaries and will go a long way in strengthening our existing system,” he said.
Thakur said the three past masters will help Indian cricket regain its top position across formats. “On behalf of all my colleagues in the BCCI, I thank Sachin, Sourav and Laxman for having accepted our invitation to be part of this prestigious committee and I am confident that their invaluable advice will help Indian Cricket regain its leadership position in all formats of the game. Their participation augurs well for the future of the game in our country and the noble intention to ‘give back to the game’, is commendable.”
Meanwhile, India have altered their pre-departure schedule a bit. The team will train in Kolkata on June 7 following a fitness test the day before. They will leave for Bangladesh on June 8 morning.