| Greg Chappell and Rahul Dravid
Calcutta: Greg Chappell and Rahul Dravid have been getting the team of their choice, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has ignored their request for including Wng Cdr M.Baladitya on the management team for the West Indies.
The Services man is, at the moment, seen as somebody “most suited” to become the full-time Team India manager.
Indeed, that has been the need for many a season and it’s not clear when the first pro appointment is going to be made.
Baladitya was assistant manager on the tour of Pakistan (January-February) and, before that, had been manager in the last four series’ at home.
That sequence began with Pakistan’s visit early last year and ended with the three-Test series against Sri Lanka, in December.
According to The Telegraph’s sources, the Baladitya-specific request was conveyed to a “very senior” BCCI official by coach Chappell and captain Dravid during last month’s Friendship Cup in Abu Dhabi.
While the official didn’t make a commitment, it was assumed that the request would be met. Chappell and Dravid’s ‘intervention’, after all, had put Baladitya on the flight to Pakistan.
Nobody will speak on record, but Baladitya wasn’t in the frame then as he’d been appointed at Jagmohan Dalmiya’s behest and the new (then just weeks old) dispensation didn’t want anybody having links with the one-time boss.
That could be one reason why Baladitya hasn’t got a call-up for the West Indies.
The BCCI, of course, has appointed (senior) national selector Ranjib Biswal as manager during the five ODIs. In the four-Test series, he’s going to be replaced by the Universities’ Prof. D.Dongaonkar.
Strangely, the BCCI has only appointed an assistant manager (Mumbai’s Ravi Sawant) for the Tests.
Meanwhile, chief selector Kiran More is absolutely firm that “some selector or the other” will be in the West Indies during the Test series as well.
The practice of a selector-on-tour began with this year’s visit to Pakistan.
Team India’s departure for the West Indies, from Mumbai, is slated for early on May 12.