The manner in which Sourav Ganguly was overruled and Ravi Shastri selected as the Team India head coach rankles the former India captain till date.
Writing to BCCI office-bearers on the present state of flux in Indian cricket, Ganguly could not help referring to his own “appalling” experience with regard to the selection of the national team’s head coach last year.
“… Decisions made in committees are turned around with complete disrespect, my experience in the matter of coach selection was appalling (the less said the better),” Ganguly wrote in his email.
Ganguly still seems to be carrying the scars of the coach selection fiasco last year. He, along with Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, comprised BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) which was tasked with picking a successor to Anil Kumble, who had stepped down following a fallout with skipper Virat Kohli. Shastri eventually replaced him despite Ganguly being against his appointment.
In fact, ahead of the selection process, a BCCI functionary had approached Virender Sehwag and convinced him to throw his hat into the ring. The former India opener made a flesh-and-blood presence at the interview, while Shastri gave a Skype appearance. But the latter got the nod.
The CAC had also recommended the inclusion of Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan in the coaching set-up as batting and bowling consultants respectively, especially for tough overseas tours. But Shastri insisted on having his own coaching staff and brought back Bharat Arun as bowling coach, while Sanjay Bangar stayed on as the assistant coach. The Committee of Administrators (CoA), headed by Vinod Rai, backed Shastri’s choice. In eight overseas Tests in South Africa and England this year, India have lost six and won two.
In 2016 also, Ganguly and Shastri had a public spat after Kumble became head coach. Ganguly had rejected Shastri’s candidature then also, on the basis that he didn’t appear for the interview in person. Shastri had hit out at Ganguly, citing his absence for an hour during the interview process. The latter had said he had to attend a meeting of the Cricket Association of Bengal, of which he is the president.
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