Vikram Rathour, Hrishikesh Kanitkar in the fray for NCA batting consultant job

Among the four applicants for the batting consultant job at the Rahul Dravid-headed NCA are former internationals Vikram Rathour and Hrishikesh Kanitkar.

Vikram Rathour had a modest international career, playing 6 Tests and 7 ODIs. (FILE IMAGE)   -  The Hindu Photo Library

After being ignored for India U-19 batting coach’s job due to a conflict of interest issue, former India batsman Vikram Rathour has now applied for the position of batting consultant at the Rahul Dravid-headed National Cricket Academy.

Among the four applicants for the NCA job is former international Hrishikesh Kanitkar, who has won two Ranji Trophy titles with Rajasthan.

Rathour’s name had earlier cropped up among the U-19 batting coach probables but with his brother-in-law Ashish Kapoor being one of the junior national selectors, his case was scuttled.

The NCA batting coach’s job is to primarily work with the age-group boys and not the senior team members, who normally come to the Bengaluru centre only for rehabilitation.

A few senior officials in BCCI have started questioning why Rathour, who was a national selector a few years ago, has been applying repeatedly despite the ‘conflict of interest’ issue. As long as Kapoor remains a junior national selector, Rathour will remain in the conflict of interest net as per Lodha recommendations.

READ | Vikram Rathour appointment as batting coach of India A, U-19 teams put on hold

“The CoA was kept in the dark by GM (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim and due diligence wasn’t done before recommending his name for the post. It has been learnt that once again Rathour’s name has come up and one senior official is constantly dropping Rahul Dravid’s name to clear Rathour’s appointment. Dravid, till date, has not given in writing that he is recommending Rathour for the job,” a senior BCCI official, privy to the development, told PTI on condition of anonymity.

However, a source close to the CoA confirmed that while Rathour’s name is up for discussion, nothing has been finalised.

Former Punjab batsman Rathour does not have an Indian passport but that is argued by the instance of Australian Patrick Farhart, who was the Indian national team physio.

READ | Physio Patrick Farhart’s tenure ends with India’s semifinal exit from World Cup

Rathour had a modest international career, playing 6 Tests and 7 ODIs.

Kanitkar has had some success in the 31 ODIs that he played and is still remembered for his boundary off Saqlain Mushtaq in the Independence Cup final in Dhaka in 1998. At the domestic level, he was the coach of the Tamil Nadu team that won the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2018.

In another development, it has been learnt that Dravid - head of Cricket Operations at NCA - will decide if a head coach is needed for the U-19 and 'A' teams, which are now touring with interim coaches.

Fielding coach Abhay Sharma is in charge of the U-19 side which is playing in England while Shitanshu Kotak is in charge of the 'A' team in the West Indies.

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