The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Another unprofessional show by the BCCI
- Appointment of Team India coach has almost turned into a joke

Bangalore: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) takes pride in having millions in its coffers, but continues to stumble on a range of issues.

The latest poor show has been over the selection of the coach. In fact, administrators from some of the other Boards are amazed at the utterly unprofessional manner in which the BCCI has been acting.

That’s not all.

Dav Whatmore’s elimination has confused quite a few Team India players. One, in fact, told The Telegraph: “All along, it was Whatmore and Whatmore... Graham Ford’s name had only been generally talked about in Bangladesh...”

Unbelievably, the seven-man special committee empowered to pick the coach began Monday night’s meeting without confirming the availability of the ‘candidates’ to be discussed.

Sunil Gavaskar, for example, proposed John Emburey’s name without his consent. It led to a bizarre situation, with the BCCI spokesman, treasurer N. Srinivasan, unable to reveal his identity!

That was done some 18 hours later.

Many find it strange that Emburey, who’d declined the BCCI’s invitation 25 months ago, has been approached once again. Moreover Ford, who has emerged the frontrunner, didn’t even bother to send his CV!

One has heard of candidates being desperate, but the BCCI has rewritten the prospective employer-employee script.

The other day, Madanlal (who, by the way, was keen on a second innings as coach) felt the BCCI should have advertised the post and sought applications. That, indeed, would have been the best way forward.

Once Stage I was completed, the special committee could have met to screen the applicants. A formal interview/presentation session would have been the final step.

The BCCI hasn’t been forthcoming on why a totally transparent approach hasn’t been adopted. Asked for a reaction, Ravi Shastri (one of the committee members) declined to comment.

“I’m not saying anything... The selection process is on... I’m sure we’ll be able to take a decision on Saturday,” is all that he said.

Saturday is when Ford and Emburey make their presentations before the committee, chaired by BCCI president Sharad Pawar.

With the Rahul Dravids set to leave for England in a fortnight, the coach’s appointment ought to have been a priority. The process, however, has turned into somewhat of a joke.

With so much at stake, one just can’t laugh.

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