The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dalmiya may meet team’s thinktank

Calcutta: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, Jagmohan Dalmiya, is likely to have a closed-door session with the national team’s thinktank before the World Cup XV heads for South Africa next Wednesday.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, Dalmiya may meet captain Sourav Ganguly, vice-captain Rahul Dravid and coach John Wright in the city itself — possibly on Sunday.

“It’s not exactly confirmed, but chances are that Wright and Dravid will be invited to come over for a few hours,” is how a source put it.

Dalmiya, obviously, will be looking back and ahead. While much of the interaction should revolve around the February 8-March 25 World Cup, the president is bound to also “discuss” India’s disastrous tour of New Zealand.

Yet, given that the meeting will only be days before the departure for the World Cup, it’s unlikely that a pucca post-mortem will be undertaken. “Surely, the president isn’t going to say anything that will affect the mental preparation for the sport’s biggest event,” remarked another source.

Incidentally, Wright’s contract will be up for renewal after the World Cup. Physio Andrew Leipus and physical trainer Adrian Le Roux’s as well.

Meanwhile, with the Player Terms dispute unresolved, there’s uncertainty over who will be named manager. Chief selector Brijesh Patel, it may be recalled, held that post during the last World Cup.

“Picking the XV was relatively easy, getting the right manager is going to be tough,” quipped a source.

Apparently, Dalmiya is keen that somebody conversant with contracts and anti-doping regulations be appointed but, then, few in the BCCI qualify.

Amrit Mathur, a former Sports Authority of India secretary, though, could come into the frame. It’s not insignificant, perhaps, that he was manager during India’s first-ever tour of South Africa, back in 1992-93.

Generally, lobbying for such a prize assignment begins weeks before the appointment is made. This time, the ‘build-up’ has been different.

An announcement, however, is expected on Wednesday — after the BCCI’s working committee session in the capital.

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