CAC delays naming India's new head coach, says need to take Virat Kohli in confidence
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday delayed the announcement of the Indian cricket team's new head coach, saying that it wants to take captain Virat Kohli in confidence before reaching to a deicision. The interview process was conducted at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on Monday by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman. "We have interviwed all the prospective candidates except for Phil Simmons who was not available today for the interview. What we have decided is that we will hold on for the time being for the announcement of the coach," Ganguly said at the press briefing.
Ganguly said that the CAC wants all the stakeholders to be on the same page before taking the all-important decision. Ganguly, who is the chief of the Cricket Association of Bengal, added that the interview process has been concluded.
"We need a few more days and need to talk to a few more people, especially the captain and then make an announcement because we feel that there is no hurry at the moment... the Sri Lankan tour coming in a week's time and the board will probably continue with the same set for the time being. We want to speak to Virat Kohli once he is back from America.
"All three of us, we will explain to him that the coaches want to function in a certain way and make sure that everybody is on the same page before we make the announcement because once we make the announcement, it has to be till the 2019 World Cup and to be honest what we have heard from the coaches today is nothing different from what we have heard last year and the way things have gone. They have been outstanding specially some of the names which we have been discussing about. We were pleasantly surprised and happy when we heard how they want to go about the job. So, from that point of view, we will have everybody on the same page and will take a call in due course of time.
Ganguly said the board was not in a hurry to announce the coach.
"We are not in a hurry and we are not looking at the Sri Lanka tour because it is a long tour. We want to make sure that everybody is in synchronisation of the way forward and then Indian cricket goes forward because we shouldn't be seeing again six months down the line doing something different. I thought the presentations were outstanding, exactly what coaches would want to do. The process is concluded and as I said we need to speak to people who will matter," he said.
The CAC today conducted interviews of five shortlisted candidates who had applied for one of the most glamorous and high-profile jobs in world cricket. Ravi Shastri, Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Lalchand Rajput were in the fray and appeared in the interview process. However, only Sehwag was present in person and the rest of the interviews were done via video conferencing.
Meanwhile, Shastri remains an overwhelming favourite for the job owing to his friendly relations with Kohli and also with many of the other young players in the Indian team. The former India all-rounder was overlooked last time when had applied for the same position and was eventually tipped over by Kumble, who came out as the preffered candidate of the CAC. The entire saga caused a massive rift with Shastri blaming Ganguly for his candidature being rejected. Shastri had accused Ganguly of not being present when he had given his interview via skype. Ganguly, on the other hand, reasoned that the applicant for an important job like the India team coach must be present in person during the interview.
The position had fallen vacant after former head coach and legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble resigned from the post before the West Indies series due to differences with skipper Kohli.