Is Dada responsible for Ravi ‘missing the bus’: Post the appointment of Anil Kumble as the Head Coach of Team India, the former Director of Team India, Ravi Shastri, expressed disappointment at not having ‘made the cut’ despite his association with the team as Team Director initially and later on donning the Coach’s hat, albeit unofficially, on the exit of the then Head Coach, Duncan Fletcher.
BCCI put in a fool proof system for the selection process, beginning with placing advertisement insertions in newspapers and inviting applications.
As many as 50 applications were received that included the ones from Ravi Shastri and Anil Kumble.
BCCI shortlisted 21 of them and passed on the same to the Cricketing Advisory Committee, consisting of Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laman and Sanjay Jagdale, the coordinator.
The committee duly conducted the interviews and forwarded their recommendations to the Board President.
However, in the process, it so happened that Saurav Ganguly, President of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), had to leave the interview panel at a specified time for chairing a CAB Working Committee Meeting.
As per Ganguly, the fact of his having to leave at a specified time was in the know of BCCI and the interviews were slated accordingly. Since, during the process of interview, the presentation of some of the candidates over ran the allotted time (45 minutes per candidate), Ganguly could not be present in the CAC panel while Ravi made his presentation.
Ganguly, on his return to the panel, was updated about the interview with Ravi Shastri.
Shastri, presumably holidaying in Bangkok, made his presentation through video conferencing.
All hell broke loose once BCCI President announced the name of Anil Kumble as the Coach for one year.
Shastri clearly felt disappointed. In an interaction with a particular TV channel, he said Ganguly had shown disrespect to the responsibility he was assigned with and also disrespected the candidate by not being present at the time of interview.
Choosing not react for about two days, Ganguly finally broke his silence. Talking to the media he said that BCCI was aware of his prior commitment with CAB and that he had to leave at an appointed time. As such he had not made any violation.
Shastri also had a piece of advice for Ganguly, saying that, in future, whenever he (Ganguly) would be assigned any job, he should make himself available for the entire process.
Ganguly also retaliated, giving a piece of advice to Ravi Shastri.
Speaking to the media, Ganguly said, “If Shastri thinks I was behind the appointment of Kumble as the coach and not him, then he is living in a fool’s paradise.”
“It angers me that he gave a suggestion that I should be available for such meetings. I have been a part of BCCI meetings for some time and I have always been available. My advice to Ravi is that when the coach of India is selected and one of the most important jobs, he should be in front of the committee and not sit in Bangkok and give a presentation while being on a holiday.”
While both are justified from their standpoint, hopefully the war of words between the two stalwarts would be put to rest, sooner than later, and the bonhomie would return soon, all in the interest of Indian cricket.