G. Viswanath

  • Seniors appeared to be disturbed at the turn of events
  • They ask BCCI to set forth a procedure to find a coach

    Mumbai: "Do not press the panic button" was the solacing one-liner from the big guns of the Indian cricket team to the BCCI after they were conveyed South African Graham Ford's decision to back off from taking Indian team's coaching job.

    Captain Rahul Dravid, instrumental in setting off the Ford campaign, along with his three other long-time colleagues in the team Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble appeared to be disturbed at the turn of events during the batsmen's camp at Bangalore.

    According to the BCCI's Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty, the seniors were a little upset, but quickly put the whole issue behind them and applied their thoughts on the tour of Ireland and England.

    "The senior players told us that the BCCI should not panic and also should not rush to find another coach, but set forth a procedure to find a coach in the next two months. Their suggestion was conveyed to a Working Committee member in New Delhi," said Mr. Shetty.

    Representatives of the member units, who were not part of the Working Committee, were also called as special invitees for the meeting, considering the important items on the agenda.

    Players' inputs

    All along since the appointment of New Zealander John Wright as India's first foreign coach the BCCI has been businesslike, listening to the senior players' suggestions and implementing them. Wright's appointment was facilitated by inputs from Dravid and Ganguly, while Greg Chappell's case was advanced by Ganguly.

    After Chappell decided not to renew the contract with the BCCI, the senior players figured out that Tom Moody and in the event of his non-availability Dav Whatmore should be approached. The BCCI President Sharad Pawar was kept abreast of the developments when he met the four players separately in Chittagong.

    But by the end of the series in Bangladesh, the players mulled over an alternative, gathered sufficient information on Ford and made a strong pitch for him through Ravi Shastri. The choice of Ford was nailed down after Dravid called up Sunil Gavaskar to tell him the benefits the Indian team could have because of the South African's grounding in the coaching department. The India captain spoke to Gavaskar before the seven-member committee assembled in Chennai for interaction with Ford and Englishman John Emburey.

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