The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will have a conversation with Rahul Dravid about the duration of his tenure as the head coach of the Indian team once he returns after the tour of South Africa.
Last week, the BCCI gave Dravid an extension, but it did not specify the tenure, leading to speculation on whether he would continue after the T20 World Cup in June.
“We have given the extension but we are yet to finalise the contract. We did not get time at all, they finished (with the World Cup), I had a meeting with them and we agreed mutually that they would continue. We will sit down and decide once they return from South Africa,” Shah said.
Hardik could return for Afghanistan series
The secretary also said that Hardik Pandya, who is in rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), could return to action as early as January when India plays Afghanistan for a three-match T20I series.
“We are monitoring it on a day-to-day basis. He is at NCA only, he is working very hard and we will let you know in due course the moment he is fit. He could be fit before the Afghanistan series also,” Shah said.
Hardik was ruled out of the World Cup after he suffered an ankle injury while attempting to stop a shot off his delivery in a group match against Bangladesh in Pune.
Mohammed Shami, who replaced him in the first team, seized the opportunity and emerged as the highest wicket-taker in the tournament – claiming 24 wickets in seven games. Shami, too, is nursing an ankle injury and is expected to be fit for the Tests against the Proteas.
Asked about Rohit Sharma’s future as the captain, the secretary said, “What is the need to have clarity right now? It (T20 World Cup) is starting in June, we have the IPL before that and the series against Afghanistan…”
Road ahead for Pink-ball Test
Over the last couple of years, teams haven’t featured in pink-ball Tests, and Shah said that Boards need to discuss and decide on the future.
“We need to grow interest among people for pink-ball Test. In the past, the pink-ball Tests got over early, whereas Test matches should ideally continue for about 4-5 days. That’s what people want to watch. Once they get used to it, we will see how it goes,” he said.
“Not many teams have played pink-ball Test in recent times. We will gradually speak and decide. The CEO of the ECB is here, and we did speak about it. Hum dheere dheere baat karke karenge,” he said.
New NCA, North-east academies to be opened in August
Shah said that the new NCA campus in Bengaluru will be opened in August, along with the academies in the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir.
“Midway through August, we’ll see academies opening up in Northeast and the new NCA in Bengaluru. And the work on Jammu and Kashmir academy has started,” Shah said.
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