We can't win all the time, says disappointed Prasad

Bowling coach upset with the way he was shown the door


No official from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) deemed it fit to personally inform the former Indian medium-pacer of the Board’s decision, let alone proffer reasons for the unexpected and dramatic development.

“I am deeply disappointed and hurt by the way in which it has been handled,” Prasad told Deccan Herald. “All I can say, with a clear conscience, was that I gave it my hundred percent, and I wasn’t short on either commitment or effort.”

Prasad was signed up as the bowling coach in mid-2007, immediately after India’s disappointing exit from the first round of the World Cup in the West Indies. Interestingly -- or shockingly, depending on how you look at it -- he didn’t have a written contract from the Board during his tenure in another example of the whimsical ways of the BCCI.

It might be recalled that between June 2007 and March 2008, without an overseas coach and with Prasad and Robin working alongside the likes of ‘cricket managers’ Ravi Shastri, Chandu Borde and Lalchand Rajput, India won a Test series in England, the World T20 in South Africa, the Perth Test and the last triangular series ever on Australian soil.

Just under a year back, Prasad was hailed as the messiah, the man responsible for the growth of Ishant Sharma and for the continued progress of Zaheer Khan. It was largely on the back of the wonderful use of reverse swing by the young tyro and the experienced left-arm paceman that India upended Australia 2-0 at home 12 months back.

Now, after successive setbacks in the World T20 in England and the Champions Trophy in South Africa, Prasad and fielding coach Robin Singh have suddenly become superfluous to the BCCI’s scheme of things.

“We must realise that we can’t keep winning all the time,” the 40-year-old Prasad went on. “We can’t keep blaming the bowlers and the fielders for every debacle. Cricket is a team game, and it is important to recognise and appreciate that fact.”
Prasad had been needlessly drawn into a controversy in the last fortnight through reports that he had told Ishant not to talk about his bowling to former Indian medium-pacer Manoj Prabhakar.

“Who am I to stop someone from speaking to others?” Prasad countered. “My only point is that if you speak to more people, you get more ideas and perhaps more confusion.

“At the same time, one should be smart enough to filter that information and take the best possible ideas. At the end of the day, I have always wanted the best for the bowling unit.”

Deccan Herald has learnt that the decision to sack Prasad and Robin was taken by the BCCI on Wednesday, a day before the official confirmation, without the involvement of either coach Gary Kirsten or captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. It is learnt, too, that in a report not so long back, Kirsten had expressed his inhibitions regarding Prasad’s role. The Board’s contention, it is believed, is that the players have been spoon-fed for a while now, and it is time for them to be on their own.

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