The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Whatmore, Jones CVs spiked
- Panel shortlists four, set to also determine the availability of Haynes, Inverarity

Calcutta: Greg Chappell has always maintained his cricket education remained 'incomplete' as he didn’t play in India.

Twenty-one years after retiring, the former Australian captain has a chance to at least coach Team India: He is among four shortlisted by the Board, which has launched the hunt for John Wright’s successor.

Compatriot Tom Moody, too, is in the quartet with Mohinder Amarnath and Sandeep Patil.

All will be invited for an interview by the month-end and the chosen one named 'by June 15,' promised Board president Ranbir Singh Mahendra.

The appointment is going to be till the 2007 World Cup. The August 2-14 tri-series in Sri Lanka, by the way, will be the new coach’s first assignment.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the specially constituted six-member ‘selection’ committee ' which met here for almost two hours on Sunday afternoon ' also spoke about 'checking' the availability of Desmond Haynes and John Inverarity.

West Indian Haynes needs no introduction, while Inverarity was once tipped to lead Australia. He just played six Tests, but was prolific for Western Australia.

Respected for a brilliant cricket mind, Inverarity is currently coaching Warwickshire. Haynes has worked with Sussex and Hampshire.

Inverarity, though, is 61.

Incidentally, the Mahendra-chaired committee ignored the ‘claims’ of Dean Jones and Dav Whatmore.

Hardly a surprise as Whatmore has extended his contract with Bangladesh and India wouldn’t risk damaging Asian unity by poaching. As for Jones, he figured in the CBI’s report on match-fixing (in late 2000).

That Jones wouldn’t, therefore, come into the frame was reported in these columns on April 20.

No Indian sent his CV, but a source revealed Amarnath and Patil got shortlisted largely to keep the swadeshi lobby happy. Also, nobody can now make an issue of the selection process in, say, Parliament.

Amarnath has coached Bangladesh, while Patil succeeded Ajit Wadekar in early 1996. That India innings was, of course, short. Patil made bigger headlines in the 2003 World Cup, when Kenya made the semi-finals. More recently, he has coached A sides.

Known to talk straight, Amarnath said ' 'My opinion is that only an Indian should be coaching India.' Speaking soon after the Board’s decision, he added: 'Yes. I’m happy I’m going to be called for an interview' However, I take one thing at a time and, so, won’t say anything more.'

Chappell, who has privately worked with regular Team India captain Sourav Ganguly (and, to a lesser extent, with seniormost pro Sachin Tendulkar), was informed of his shortlisting by this newspaper.

'I haven’t heard anything from anybody, but thank you for this piece of news' I’m delighted and looking forward to a formal call,' he remarked.

Asked whether he could make it for the interview at short notice, Chappell replied: 'Yes, indeed'

It’s to be seen whether the Board will actually be comfortable with Chappell’s profile, but he does have the credentials to take Team India forward.

Chappell hasn’t coached a national team, but has worked with South Australia. Moody’s experience, too, is limited to working at Worcestershire.

Unless Haynes or Inverarity make it a three-way race, it may eventually be Chappell vs Moody ' the Big Fight in the build-up to 2005-06.

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