CHENNAI: A lot of people are saying a lot of things, and nobody seems to know for sure what’s happening. Without elected office-bearers and run by stop-gap arrangements, the BCCI is in unprecedented mess. Take for example the chaos over naming the head coach and his assistants.
First Ravi Shastri gets the job, with two high-profile former players as consultants. It’s announced that Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan will work only on specific overseas tours. Then comes news that the appointment of the two is not final, the CoA will take a call. In between, Sourav Ganguly makes a statement that Zaheer will be contracted to work with the national team for 150 days a year.
Amid the confusion, what emerges as certain is that the CoA will meet Shastri on July 18 to decide on his assistants. Whether that meeting clears confusions or creates more has to be seen. The way things are going, it won’t be surprising if there is no decision on this before the first India-Sri Lanka Test in Galle on July 26.
Making the case queer is the presence of multiple power centres, with the BCCI as spectator or at best a timid moderator. The CoA has made a late entry into the coach drama, after congratulating the advisory committee for doing a good job. It’s evident that it thinks the advisory committee has exceeded jurisdiction by talking about Shastri’s assistants.
While it can be argued that the CoA has itself at times stepped beyond its brief of running day to day affairs and implementing court orders on reform, members of the advisory committee saying who Shastri’s deputies should be, for how many days, without clarifying crucial points, calls for examination.
Dravid and Zaheer’s association with the senior India team will amount to conflict of interest. Having recently accepted a two-year contract to coach the India A and junior teams, Dravid can’t be the overseas batting consultant unless his contract is revised. And while spelling out the specifics about Zaheer, Ganguly never mentioned his IPL contract with Delhi Daredevils, which has to be terminated for him to take up the India role.
“Ganguly is making statements that only the BCCI or CoA can make. The advisory committee was asked to suggest the name of the head coach. Appointing him, his assistants, deciding on terms and conditions of their contracts is obviously not Ganguly or the advisory committee’s responsibility. That’s why the CoA stepped in. In the absence of a decision-making authority in BCCI, the CoA has to play that role,” sources in the know told Express on Sunday.
Being formed by the BCCI for a specific purpose, the CoA should have stuck to their task. In the absence of a head, the BCCI didn’t intervene when it should have. “What’s happening now is obviously not ideal. It has gone out of our hands. Hopefully, there will be clarity after the July 18 meeting,” said a senior functionary, the helplessness in his voice summing up the BCCI’s state.