After Test debacle, BCCI targets coach and support staff

After Test debacle, BCCI targets coach and support staff

Ravi Shastri installed as team director

After Test debacle, BCCI targets coach and support staff

India’s shambolic Test series against England may just have claimed its first two victims, with the BCCI sending bowling coach Joe Dawes and fielding coach Trevor Penney on a “break” from the upcoming five-match one-day series against England.

In what comes as an exercise to douse the anger among fans and former cricketers following India’s disastrous performance in the Test series, the BCCI has also clipped coach Duncan Fletcher’s authority, making former all-rounder Ravi Shastri the overall in-charge of the team.

Under pressure to act, the BCCI appointed Shastri as Team Director and named former players Sanjay Bangar and Bharat Arun as assistant and bowling coaches respectively, and R Sridhar as the fielding coach in a revamp of the team management and the support staff.

While Fletcher, whose contract ends in April 2015, will continue as head coach of the team, the shake-up is a clear indication that his wings will be clipped as Shastri takes over as director for the five-match one-day series beginning August 25.

This is not the first time that Shastri has been included in the teamas part of a “damage control” exercise.

In 2007, post the World Cup debacle in the West Indies, the former India all-rounder was appointed cricket manager for the tour of Bangladesh after Greg Chappell was sacked.

“In culmination of the discussions among all the office-bearers of the BCCI over the last couple of weeks, the BCCI has decided to avail the services of former India captain, Ravi Shastri, to oversee and guide the Indian cricket team for the forthcoming one-day international matches against England,” a press release issued by the cricket board said.

“Duncan Fletcher will continue as head coach while Ravi Shastri will be the overall in-charge of cricket affairs of the Indian team.” With Shastri in the set-up, Fletcher’s days seem to be numbered and a question arises about his presence during the upcoming home series against the West Indies.

“Duncan has no powers left whatsoever. Ravi will be calling the shots and Duncan knows it only too well. At this point of time, with no choice of support staff, Duncan will have to take a back seat. If Duncan wants to leave before the next home series against West Indies, the board will not stop him,” a senior office-bearer from the BCCI said.