The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Must have somebody to guide Rahul: Vengsarkar
- Sourav returns for ODIs as well Sachin gets the vice-captaincy

Calcutta: It’s not clear whether there was a prompt from somebody in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), but the idea that Sachin Tendulkar be given the vice-captaincy came from selection committee chairman Dilip Vengsarkar.

He acknowledged as much in a chat with The Telegraph.

“I offered the post to Sachin and he agreed after giving the proposal some thought… In fact, he telephoned to convey his acceptance,” Vengsarkar revealed.

Sachin, it may be recalled, quit as captain in March 2000. His first innings ended with his removal in December 1997. The second had begun after the 1999 World Cup.

Speaking on Friday evening, Vengsarkar added: “I made the offer as I felt we must have somebody to guide Rahul (Dravid)… As announced, for now, Sachin’s appointment is for the first two ODIs against the West Indies.”

He declined to say anything else.

However, there’s talk that Dravid’s somewhat baffling captaincy in the second innings of the Cape Town Test (which ended in a big defeat) probably convinced the selectors that an experienced ‘guide’ was needed.

More important, that the ‘guide’ should hold a position.

Sachin, clearly, wouldn’t have agreed had the appointment been for two matches. It’s pretty obvious, then, that he will remain Dravid’s deputy till the end of our World Cup campaign.

After that' Well…

Dravid’s own appointment is till the quadrennial blockbuster. He has been at the helm from October 2005.

It’s rare for a vice-captain to be named for a series at home, but the vacancy cropped up owing to Virender Sehwag’s removal (in South Africa) and the omission of V.V.S. Laxman, who succeeded him.

Apparently, a section within the BCCI would have favoured Sourav Ganguly’s appointment, but it’s unlikely that everybody in authority would have taken it gracefully.

With India’s first match in the World Cup just over two months away (March 17, versus Bangladesh), this isn’t the time for even a hint of tension in the dressing room.

Sourav was captain from March 2000 till September 2005.

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