Kolkata: Ravi Shastri’s appointment as the new Indian coach wasn’t much of a surprise but the installation of Zaheer Khan as the bowling coach and Rahul Dravid as the batting coach (for overseas tours) well and truly became one of the most-talked topics in the social media.
It was initially believed that the Cricket Advisory Committee had forced Dravid and Khan into Shastri’s team management. The members of the CAC- Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman wrote individual letters to the Committee of Administrators and the BCCI seeking a clarification as to why it was believed that it was against their intentions of appointing the former legends with Ravi Shastri.
These letters were addressed to the CoA chief Vinod Rai and BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary. They have also specifically mentioned that the appointment of Dravid and Zaheer was thought as something that the CAC did going out of their authority.
A strong-worded by one of them read, “There have been suggestions that the CAC has exceeded its ambit in going with Mr Khan and Mr Dravid, and these two legends of Indian cricket have been foisted on the head coach. It has both pained and disappointed us therefore to see the light in which the CAC has been portrayed in various sections of the media.”
The letter further added, “While we all know that none of these reports are true, it is out in public domain and it is imperative that the cricket-loving public at large is made aware of the reality. We could do it ourselves, of course, but we don’t want to further queer the pitch. So, we would respectfully request you to clear the air and set the record straight in this regard.”
Sachin Tendulkar, who is of a soft-spoken nature wrote in his letter that they brought the same integrity of their playing days into this important responsibility given to them by the Indian board.
He wrote, “The three of us played our cricket with great integrity, and we have brought that same trait in fulfilling this important responsibility bestowed upon us by the BCCI. While we are not looking for plaudits, we do not appreciate the tone and the falsehoods of some of the narratives.”
Another letter read, “You (Rai/Choudhary) will be aware that we put our heart and soul into the process, approaching a task made delicate by the recent developments with a clear head and with the sole aim of providing the Indian team with the best resources possible to become the world-beaters they are capable of being.”
The letters also stated that there was telephonic conversation between the CAC and the BCCI after their meeting.
“We also bring to your notice the mail you had circulated to us saying that we had absolutely free hand in picking the coach of the Indian cricket team. Also, we did inform you over the phone along with Rahul Johri and Amitabh Choudhary of all that transpired immediately after the meeting was over, ” a letter said.
Ravi Shastri, the newly appointed head coach of the Indian team in an interview to a newspaper said that he should have been given the power to select his own support staff, making it clear that he wanted Bharat Arun to be the bowling coach.
After the letters by the CAC members hit the BCCI, the Indian board clarified in a release, saying that Dravid and Zaheer would be, “batting and bowling consultants on overseas tour-to-tour basis, as per the requirement of the team.”