The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dav Whatmore is still ahead
- Graham Ford becomes the dark horse and Gavaskar factor will be at play, but...

Calcutta: Dav Whatmore is still favoured to become the Team India coach, but the Australian will almost surely have to contend with the iconic Sunil Gavaskar’s hostility when the seven-man special committee meets in Bangalore on Monday.

Gavaskar is one of three former captains — Srinivas Venkatraghavan and Ravi Shastri being the others — given the responsibility of helping select Greg Chappell’s full-time successor.

Whatmore, who has just finished four years with Bangladesh, must ‘deal’ with former South African coach Graham Ford too.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, Ford has sent his CV to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“He has done so at the behest of a senior Indian cricketer,” somebody in the know said on Sunday.

However, Niranjan Shah (the BCCI secretary) limited himself to saying: “It’s possible that Ford has sent his CV… I haven’t seen it, though…”

Whatmore, of course, adopted the direct approach: He met Shah and chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty during last month’s Chittagong Test.

Both had gone there as part of a BCCI delegation.

Ford, who succeeded Bob Woolmer after the 1999 World Cup, was sacked by the South African board in 2001. In recent years, he has been coaching Kent.

Obviously, the “senior Indian cricketer” would have spoken to somebody in the BCCI before advising Ford to email his CV.

Whatmore, therefore, has reason to lose sleep.

However, that Ford was fired is something few would have forgotten. So…

Incidentally, John Wright had also been at Kent when he sent his CV to the BCCI, almost seven years ago.

That started a relationship which lasted four-and-a-half years.

Returning to the meeting, the Gavaskar factor is bound to hang heavy.

Specifically, he wants an Indian to get the high-on-profile-and-pressure job and, till rather late on Sunday, there was nothing to suggest he’d decided to go along with the majority view.

“Chetan Chauhan was being talked about till a few days ago, but the fact that he has only played a few ODIs has weakened his case enormously… Gavaskar may propose Mohinder Amarnath… Even (Gundappa Viswanath) Vishy can be discussed,” another source pointed out.

Being more than conversant with limited overs cricket is a top requirement.

The meeting is going to be chaired by BCCI president Sharad Pawar. Three of his colleagues — Shah, joint-secretary Mohinder Pandove and treasurer N. Srinivasan — complete the committee.

As Pawar won’t land in Bangalore till around 6.00pm, the meeting is unlikely to begin before 8.00pm.

It’s one of the most awaited in recent memory.

Meanwhile, former coach Madanlal is of the view that the BCCI should have advertised and sought applications.

“That, I think, would have been the proper way of going about the whole thing…”

A few days ago, Madanlal went public with his desire for a second innings. The BCCI, well, hasn’t taken notice.

“I wasn’t disappointed when I was removed in 1997 (after a year in the job)… I’m not disappointed today either,” he insisted.

Madanlal was a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning XI and has served as a national selector as well.

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