Shastri returns to take head coach's job

Shastri returns to take head coach's job

Zaheer named bowling coach; Dravid to chip in

Shastri returns to take head coach's job

In a late night development, Ravi Shastri was announced the head coach of Indian cricket team, Zaheer Khan the bowling consultant and Rahul Dravid the overseas batting coach for Tests.

On a day of utter chaos, the news of Shastri becoming the head coach did the rounds before being shot down by the BCCI officials, who had gathered here for their Special General Meeting that never took place.

It was informed the Cricket Advisory Committee(CAC) -- comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman – was yet to communicate its views to the BCCI, despite the Committee of Administrators (CoA) giving Board the directions to announce the coach on Tuesday itself.

“As part of the process for selecting the Head Coach, the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman conducted the interviews and recommended these appointments in the best interest of the Indian Cricket,” said a late night release from the BCCI.

Shastri had emerged the top contender for the job after the fallout between captain Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble. Kumble had quit after the Champions Trophy leaving CAC to search for a new coach. Shastri, who enjoyed a good working relationship with Kohli and was the team director of the Indian team for two years (2014-2016), had applied for the job apparently on the insistence of Tendulkar.

The CAC, which interviewed the five candidates - Shastri, Sehwag, Richard Pybus, Tom Moody and Lachand Rajput – dramatically put the announcement of the coach on hold on Monday. It raised the questions about the candidature of Shastri, who till then was a near certainty to be named for the coveted post.

It has been learned that though the committee was impressed with the presentation of Shastri, it was Sehwag’s vision for the 2019 World Cup which clicked with it the most. It has also been learnt that Ganguly and Laxman backed the candidature of Sehwag with CoA making it clear that the decision of CAC would be final. However, it appears Kohli had his way.

It would be 55-year-old Shastri’s third stint with the national team who was also the cricket manager during the 2007 tour of Bangladesh and England. He had applied for the post last year also. When Kumble replaced Shastri as the head coach, he had blamed Ganguly for his ouster, alleging the former captain lobbied for Kumble and influencing the other panel members Tendulkar and Laxman.

It would be first national coaching stint for Zaheer, who had been a premier fast bowler for India. The left-arm seamer’s role as captain and mentor of Delhi Daredevils has been much appreciated. Dravid, who had been among the most technically sound Indian batsmen, has been coaching the junior teams.

While saying that Shastri “brings with him a wealth of experience, both as player and as coach”, the BCCI statement also hailed the appointment of Dravid and Zaheer.  

“Mr. Khan is a contemporary cricketer who assumed the mentoring role to a young fast bowling unit even during his playing days with India. His inputs will be of immense value to our young fast bowlers, who have shown tremendous potential in the last couple of years. “As the Indian team is to play Test cricket overseas in the next two years, Rahul Dravid’s expertise as batting consultant will be immensely helpful for youngsters.”

The terms of the Shastri and Zaheer will last till 2019 World Cup.

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