Since the Champions Trophy, Indian coach appointment has been highlighted topic in cricketing World and the saga coming to its final stage rose questions over BCCIs accountability.
A year since Hon. Supreme Court of India appointed Lodha Committee redirects Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to REFORM its structure and produce transparency between its States Associations and central governing body. The ultimatum for this reform was six months from then. Some of the recommendations Lodha Committee as below in case you don’t remember.
- Each state will have only one vote at BCCI elections
- Ministers and civil servants cannot hold BCCI offices
- BCCI and state office bearers must not be over 70 years old
- No person can hold office at the BCCI and state association simultaneously
- No person can hold more than three, three-year terms as a BCCI official, and no official can serve consecutive terms
After a year, Committee of Administrators (CoA) appoints former office bearers N Shrinivasan and Nirajan Das to take a look at progress or lack of the implementation made by the BCCI in the year. And here the questions every cricket fans are asking. How BCCI can allow such office bearers to take part in this matter? How can they qualify in their respective State association? Though Supreme Court has issued notice against these former BCCI office bearers, but question remains. Who is running BCCI?
In case you don’t know, there are several committees former by Hon. Supreme Court appointed Lodha Committee and BCCI itself. There is Committee of Administrators (CoA) comprised four members (now three) Vinod Rai, Ramchandra Guha (resigned), Vikaram Limaye and Diana Edulji appointed by Hon. Supreme Court. There is Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprised former Indian legends Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. There are office bearers comprised Vinod Rai (President), Rahul Johri (CEO), Rajeev Shukla (Vice President), Amithabh Chaudhary (Secretary) and others.
Out of control Kumble-Kohli rift
When Supreme Court ordered Anurag Thakur to resign from his position in January this year as BCCI chief, the shaky BCCI comes here. There was no one to stop him during his tenure, Delhi office, new Media Manager (Nishant Arora) and many more. The matter could have handled sweetly but there was lack coordination within BCCI. In between that Kumble appointed as India head coach over Ravi Shastri. He handled team India very well in his tenure and Kohli became full time captain.
Rahul Johri, CEO of BCCI who has major control on Indian team was aware of trouble between Captain Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble according to sources. Even there were reports states that Kohli had reported BCCI about his ‘uncountable’ with his coach. The CoA who chose to ignore the problems by arguing their job is to impose reforms. The CAC who appointed Kumble as coach didn’t even try to clear the matter as they were team mates at a time. And finally Kohli’s recommendations to appoint Ravi Shastri as a coach.
Whatever though, the BCCI clearly slipped back to having no accountability in its working and failed to handle the matter which goes even worse when Anil Kumble in his resignation mentioned his ‘untenable’ with Kohli. The CAC who endorsed Kumble after Champions Trophy an extension for him could not find time to talk to either parties, more importantly Kohli.
On July 10, CAC completed their interview process of all candidates including Ravi Shastri who applied for this role after Kumble’s resignation on Sachin’s request (assurance). After the interview process, Ganguly and his committee in a press-conference at around 6PM IST said that they required some time to talk to Virat Kohli who is on USA vacation and tell him how coach works. There was no coordination between that committee. At 11 PM BCCI released a press release stating that Ravi Shastri appointed Head Coach, Zaheer Khan bowling consultant and Rahul Dravid overseas batting consultant.
One of the excerpts from that release says “As part of the process for selecting the Head Coach, the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising of Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, Mr. Sourav Ganguly and Mr. VVS Laxman conducted the interviews and recommended these appointments in the best interest of the Indian Cricket. The term of the appointments will be till the World Cup 2019.”
The role played by CoA in this coach appointment saga has been curious to say. Following July 10 conference, next morning different officials confirmed that they were asked by the CoA to announce the name of the new coach “as earliest”. Ravi Shastri appointed coach same day as late as 11PM.
Acting president Vinod Ray when asked said, “”We need not go into the details of any of those things. There was a process, that process was followed, and the announcement was made well in time.”
U-Turn on Dravid-Zaheer appointment
A week after announcing India’s coaching staff; Ravi Shastri met BCCI officials regarding his support staff and cleared the things in his style. BCCI named Bharat Arun as bowling coach in the press-conference on July 18. The Committee of Administrators (CoA) said that those were just recommendations to take action from CoA with new head coach Ravi Shastri.
For the appointment of Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid, new committee formed comprising acting BCCI president CK Khanna, Secretary Amitabh Choudhary and CoA member Diana Edulji to clear their exact roles for the team and decide whether they are needed at all.
Overall, there was no clarity at all in the entire saga of coach appointment. Neither CoA nor CAC coordinated each other. No BCCI office bearers took responsibility to stay clear in the scenario. This clearly indicates that there is no ACTIVE BCCI which has control over Indian cricket, the biggest and richest cricket board in the world. Hope this non-accountability will end soon and we’ll have transparent BCCI in action.