In last Sunday’s working committee meeting, the secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) Brijesh Patel praised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for being practical in nominating Cricket Club of India’s (CCI) Kapil Malhotra as the Indian cricket team’s manager for five consecutive series (from the four-Test series at home against South Africa to the World Twenty20).
Malhotra was first appointed as BCCI’s observer for India’s ODI series in England in 2014 and also manager of the team for the short ODI series against the West Indies.
But a terse communication from the BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke that Andhra Cricket Association’s Koka Ramesh has been appointed manager for the short tour of Zimbabwe refreshed people’s memory that good things do not last in Indian cricket.
It looks as though that ex-president Shashank Manohar was not inclined to change the Board’s representative in the team for every series. In fact, he did not make a change when he was elected president at a SGM here on October 4, 2015.
Malhotra replaced Goa’s Vinod Phadke, who was docked 40 per cent of his match fee for making inappropriate comments during the limited-over series (three Twenty20 and five ODI-match series) against South Africa last year.
A senior BCCI official felt that a team manager could be appointed for a long term, but that such a person should not be a BCCI member nominee. Cricket Australia retained Steve Bernard as manager for 13 years and Cricket South Africa did not look beyond Ghulam Raja for many years.
The BCCI has not given any reason for changing either the team manager or the fielding coach R. Sridhar.