The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lalchand too has much at stake

Calcutta: Till Friday evening, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was looking to appoint a “senior former player” as cricket manager during the seven-match ODI series and the lone Twenty20 International against Australia.

However, an even stronger showing by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Co. in the World Twenty20 could bring the current cricket manager, Lalchand Rajput, to the forefront.

“Rajput isn’t being thought of at this point, but the thinking may change if we beat Australia in Saturday’s semi-final,” one of the senior BCCI officials told The Telegraph.

There will definitely be continuity of sorts if Rajput gets promoted as ten of the World Twenty20 players are also in the squad for the first three ODIs versus the world champions.

According to another BCCI official, the ball is in president Sharad Pawar’s court. “We’re pressed for time… He has to decide in a couple of days,” the official said.

While the first ODI (Bangalore) is as soon as next Saturday, the tour-ending Twenty20 International is in Mumbai on October 20.

The BCCI has been appointing interim cricket managers ever since Greg Chappell decided not to seek an extension of his contract, as coach, after the World Cup.

One-time captain Ravi Shastri wore that hat in Bangladesh, while another former captain, Chandu Borde, did so on the lengthy tour of Ireland, Scotland and England. Rajput, a one-time opener, is the latest.

The BCCI’s coach-appointing committee, by the way, is meeting on the same day as the first ODI.

Hopefully, it has learnt from the Graham Ford fiasco three months ago.

Chappell, incidentally, is expected in India next month. Earlier this week, he became an adviser to the Lalit Modi-headed Rajasthan Cricket Association and his visit is exclusively going to focus on a “fresh challenge.”

The former Australian captain’s rather tumultuous association with Team India lasted 23 months.

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