BCCI HAS received 57 applications for the position of the head coach of the Indian cricket team. Among them, Ravi Shastri, selection committee chairman Sandeep Patil and his fellow national selector Vikram Rathour, too, have thrown their hats into the ring, along with other former India cricketers like Venkatesh Prasad, Pravin Amre, Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Hrishikesh Kanitkar. Applications have been received from several overseas candidates as well but the BCCI remained tight-lipped on the names. Former Australia middle order batsman Stuart Law, who coached Bangladesh, reportedly too has shown interest.
There’s a perception though that Shastri’s nomination would be all but a formality, given his 20-month stint he has had with the Indian team as a director. His contract expired after the World T20. But BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke begged to differ. “If we wanted to appoint him straightaway, we would have simply extended his contract. There are many candidates in the list with excellent credentials, both India and abroad. Rest assured, the process will be fair,” he told The Indian Express.
When asked if the aspirants would be asked to give a formal presentation before a committee, he said: “Now we will do a scrutiny to check which applications fulfil all the required criteria. Only then, we will decide our future course of action.”
India’s limited-overs captain MS Dhoni has urged the parent body to appoint someone who understands the country’s diverse culture. “One of the most important thing I believe is he should understand our culture. More than the language, one who understands our upbringing and culture will be better with us,” Dhoni had said.
The BCCI hasn’t set a deadline for the appointment of the head coach, but it is believed that they intend to complete the process before India’s tour of West Indies, starting July 6. The board is also expected to advertise for the recruitment of specialist coaches. The likes of Sanjay Bangar – the team’s interim coach in Zimbabwe – Bharat Arun and R Sridhar are said to be waiting for that. For the record, the BCCI release on Sunday said: “At the close of the June 10, 2016, the timeline set for receiving applications for the position of the Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team, BCCI has received a total of 57 applications from coaches within India and overseas.