Embarrassment galore for the CAC

With their pride bruised and collective judgment left to scrutiny, the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) is left deeply embarrassed. And rightly so.

It is learnt that one of the CoA members wanted the CAC to seek clearance from them before making fresh appointments.   -  PTI

The Committee of Administrators (CoA), by questioning the CAC’s right to pick Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan as consultants to the Indian team, gave the impression that Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly had acted beyond their mandate.

It was not the case as far as the CAC was concerned.

According to a member, transparency was maintained right through, not to speak of “fairness” as they set aside personal likes and dislikes to work in the best interest of Indian cricket.

Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly took pains to understand the situation that arose from the rift between former coach Anil Kumble and captain Virat Kohli. They spoke to Kohli in detail with an aim to retain the partnership.

The vision of the CAC involved Kohli and Kumble as the key members of the journey leading to the 2019 World Cup.

As a member of the CAC emphasised, every effort was made to bring about a solution acceptable to all in the interest of Indian cricket. But as things transpired, Kumble opted to quit and Ravi Shastri was given the task once again after being removed as Team Director in 2016.

It was not that the CAC humiliated Kumble. He was their first choice. The decision was not arrived at by voting. It was unanimous. 

Kumble’s resignation created a crisis and a new process of interviews was done as demanded by the CoA. Incidentally, the CoA was essentially tasked to ensure the Board implemented the Lodha Reforms.

It is learnt that one of the CoA members wanted the CAC to seek clearance from them before making fresh appointments. In this case the fresh appointments happened to be Dravid (164 Tests and 344 ODIs) and Zaheer (92 Tests and 200 ODIs).

As the CAC would like to argue, the two were roped in keeping in mind the immediate future assignments of the Indian team. “India is playing lot of matches overseas and we needed experienced guidance,” said a CAC member.

For the record, of a total of 311 wickets in Tests, Zaheer has claimed 207 in away matches. Of Dravid’s aggregate of 13288 runs in Tests, 7690 have come overseas.

Dravid, appointed coach of the Indian junior team, was contracted to devote 200 days a year, including 30 days to Team India (15 days each in South Africa and England).

Dravid’s time with the senior team was going to be part of the contract and did not involve any enhanced payments. Zaheer, contracted for 125 days in a year, was to bring sharpness to the team which had been without a bowling coach since B. Arun was removed along with Shastri.

The CAC’s recommendation was based on the overseas success of the two stalwarts, who incidentally were also welcomed by Shastri when the idea was discussed with him. The CoA hardly considered the efforts the CAC took to work out the best captain-coach combination.

Indeed, the experience has left the CAC deeply disappointed. With their pride bruised and collective judgment left to scrutiny, whether these cricketers with proven credentials would accept further assignment, is anybody’s guess at this stage.

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