A remarkable fortnight for Sunil Subramaniam

It was only on July 15 that the 50-year-old Sunil saw a pop up from the BCCI app on his mobile phone that indicated to him that the Board was looking for an administrative manager.

Sunil Subramaniam (right) with his son, a promising sailor.   -  R. Ravindran

In a career of sweat, struggle and scalps, Sunil Subramaniam comprehended how to cope with disappointments. The former left-arm spinner came close to donning the India cap - only to find the honour eluding him by a narrow margin.

There was always this feeling that the former Tamil Nadu and South Zone bowler with 285 wickets in 74 first class matches at 23.53 was denied a fair chance. Now he will be with the India team in a different capacity – as its administrative manager. “It feels good,” was his response when the news broke out on Friday night.

The last few days have been nothing short of remarkable for Sunil, who has coached India off-spinner R. Ashwin at different stages of his journey. It was only on July 15 that the 50-year-old Sunil saw a pop up from the BCCI app on his mobile phone that indicated to him that the Board was looking for an administrative manager.

Soon his son Siddarth, a promising sailor, had a closer look at it all and said, “Dad you fit all the BCCI criteria for the job. You should definitely have a crack at this.”

‘I fit the bill’

Recalled Sunil in a chat with Sportstar, “We then had brainstorming sessions over the next three days where every aspect of the job was dissected. I did fit the bill.”

On July 20, Sunil applied for the job. On 25th, he flew down to Mumbai where he was interviewed by Diana Edulji, a CoA member, and then interacted with BCCI CEO Rahul Johri via Skype. And now comes his appointment. Sunil will travel to Mumbai on Monday where he will be briefed about his exact role.

Sunil’s tenure will be for a year – of course, an extension is always a possibility – and he will join the team before the second Test in Sri Lanka. In a job where he will have to interact closely with the India captain and coach, Sunil said, “The team has a fantastic support staff. I have played with some of them.”

As the administrative manager, one of Sunil’s jobs will be to send his reports to the BCCI on “what the players do on and off the field, the general atmosphere in the team.”

Being a former cricketer would help him greatly in his job, Sunil said. “I would know how they prepare for a match, what goes through their minds in tough situations, how they react under pressure and the difficulties they face.”

Will he share his knowledge about spin bowling with the Indian bowlers? “Certainly, if the coach asks me to,” he said. And he was delighted to be meeting his student Ashwin. “I will be with my boy again but then all the players in the team are my boys.”