CAC to pick Indian team’s Head Coach on Monday

The BCCI’s acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhary, said that the name of the Head Coach may be revealed on Monday itself.

While Virender Sehwag will appear in person and the other candidates will be interviewed through video conference.   -  K. R. Deepak

Five former Test players — India’s Ravi Shastri, Virender Sehwag, Lalchand Rajput, Australia’s Tom Moody and West Indies’ Phil Simmons — and Englishman Richard Pybus will be interviewed for the post of the Head Coach of the Indian team by the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) on Monday — July 10. The former India opener Sehwag will appear in person and the other candidates will be interviewed through video conference.

The BCCI’s advertisement inviting applications for the post of the Head Coach closed on Sunday (July 9), and after the CAC short-listed the six from an unspecified number of applications received — probably on Friday or Saturday itself — the BCCI informed them that they will be interviewed on Monday. The CAC has eliminated the likes of Dodda Ganesh and a handful of others at the first stage itself.

Read: India coach selection: More video interviews this time around?

“Most probably we will announce the name of the Head Coach tomorrow itself,” said the BCCI acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhary, who along with the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri will oversee the selection process at the Cricket Centre.

CAC members Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S.Laxman will be present here to conduct the interview and Sachin Tendulkar will join them via video conference or Skype. The new Head Coach will start work from the tour of Sri Lanka where the first Test will start in Galle on July 26.

The BCCI’s advertisement did not give details of the time span the successful candidate would hold the post, but the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) have said (minutes of its meeting held in Hyderabad on May 21) that it would be at least till the 2019 World Cup to be held in England. The new Head Coach is likely to get a sum close to Rs. 14 crore for two years.

The post of the Head Coach of the Indian team has been lying vacant after Anil Kumble chose to withdraw from the selection process at the conclusion of the ICC Champions Trophy upon coming to know that the India captain Virat Kohli had told the BCCI in no uncertain terms that he’s uncomfortable working with Kumble. Things had gone awry from Kohli’s point of view in terms of his relationship with Kumble and that the BCCI asked Sehwag to apply for the post during the IPL itself.

Once Kumble decided to quit as Head Coach stating that his partnership with Kohli had become untenable, the BCCI reopened the application process window by extending the timeline to July 9 from the previous closure time of May 31. Shastri — Team India Director from July 2014 to January 2016 — took the opportunity to apply for the post and so did Simmons.

Last year around the same time, Ganguly and Laxman decided to go with Kumble, while Tendulkar, according to an official involved in the appointment process, told the BCCI to pick both and give them different roles. The same official said that few BCCI office bearers did not want Shastri last year, and Kumble was a late entrant in the fray.

One does not have to really look at a crystal ball to find out who the CAC will pick from the lot; it will be an Indian and it has to be one among the two — Sehwag, who is actually the BCCI’s choice, because he was asked to apply by it and perhaps even the captain, Kohli, at some point during the Champions Trophy; and Shastri, who too has an excellent rapport with the India captain.