The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) were in the dark when the Board of Control for Cricket in India decided to invite fresh applications for the post of head coach of the Indian team after Anil Kumble resigned, according to the minutes of a meeting uploaded on the website bcci.tv on Saturday. The Indian Express had last week reported that during a meeting on June 24 at the cricket centre at the BCCI office, the COA had expressed displeasure over the move to call fresh applications instead of picking the coach from those who had already applied.
According to the minutes of the meeting, Diana Edulji, one of the members of the COA raised the issue with BCCI CEO Rahul Johri. “Ms Edulji asked why an advertisement extended the date for receiving further applications was released without the knowledge of the COA. She expressed the view that after Anil Kumble stepped down, the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) should have chosen a head coach from among the existing applicants.”
At that point in time, Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Dodda Ganesh and Lalchand Rajput were those who had applied before the original deadline had expired. Once the BCCI decided to invite fresh applications, former Team India director Ravi Shastri said that he would throw his hat into the ring. The minutes of the meeting states: “The CEO (Rahul Johri) explained the rationale behind extending the date for receiving further applications saying that some potential candidates may not have applied when Anil Kumble was in the fray because it was expected that he would be reappointed as head coach in the light of the performance of Team India during his tenure and that it was always better if more people applied.
“Ms Edulji asked that her objection be recorded and other members of the COA agreed to it. The COA reposed faith in the CAC to take the right decision in the interests of Indian cricket.” Incidentally on June 28, four days after this meeting in which Edulji had raised an objection, it came to light that Shastri had decided to apply for the position of head coach. Shastri who was not in the original list has seemingly emerged as one of the favourites because of his equation with Indian captain Virat Kohli.
When asked if he had informed the CoA before sending out the second invitation for fresh applications for the coach’s job, CEO Johri had told The Indian Express: “We had informed all concerned.” Former BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke had disclosed to The Indian Express last month that Kohli had wanted Shastri to be appointed coach even when Kumble was picked by the CAC comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, over a year ago.