Clarify role of cricketing legends

The much-talked about Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising three of the Indian batting legends, has finally been formed but the exact nature of its functioning is yet to be spelt out. A BCCI press release said the trio will advise the Board on “various progressive steps which are needed to be taken that will enable Indian cricket to be better prepared for the challenges of the future,” but more clarity is required about their role. Of course, it’s a complex matter and a lot of issues will have to be looked into before tasking the committee with a specific agenda. However, by roping in Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, the last mentioned coming in place of an apparently-reluctant Rahul Dravid, the BCCI has shown it means business. Successful as they were during their heydays, the three are in sync with modern day cricket. They understand the demands and challenges of new-age cricketers and will be best equipped to guide them through. At the same time, these are highly respected cricketers and are immensely proud individuals. They won’t be in the set-up for an extra second if the committee they are going to be part of is just an ornamental one. They will have come on board only after an assurance that their opinion will be taken in all its seriousness.

Without going into the specifics, the BCCI has said it expects the CAC to “provide direction to improve talent pathway and take steps to strengthen domestic cricket besides providing guidance to improve overseas performance.” This means there has to be a harmony between the CAC and the various arms of the BCCI. For example, what will be the role of the National Cricket Academy whose supposed job also is to nurture talent? Will they provide any inputs to various selection committees? What will
be their brief with regard to the senior national team? How will they co-ordinate with the Technical Committee which also advises on ways to improve domestic cricket structure? Will they have a say in appointing new coach for the team? Is BCCI ready to concede that much power to the committee? There are a lot of nitty-gritties that will
have to be managed with utmost care and foresight.

The committee also needs to be given a time-frame, may be a five-year period, to bring in changes. And another small but significant matter is if it’s a paid job. Like the selectors, the CAC members too should be paid for the work they carry out to fix some accountability.

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