We will be neutral, won’t take anyone’s opinion - Gaekwad on India coach selection

Incumbent Ravi Shastri, who was given a 45-day extension after his contract expired at the end of the World Cup 2019, has already got the backing of skipper Virat Kohli.

Former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad. (File Photo)   -  Stu Forster

The Kapil Dev-led Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) tasked to appoint new head coach will not be prejudiced, former India coach and member of the panel Anshuman Gaekwad said on Wednesday.

The Kapil Dev-led committee which also has Shantha Rangaswamy as the third member will conduct interviews as the deadline for filing the applications for the head coach and support staff got over on Tuesday.

Incumbent Ravi Shastri, who was given a 45-day extension after his contract expired at the end of the World Cup 2019, has already got the backing of skipper Virat Kohli who said the team would be happy if the former India all-rounder continues.

“There’s no question of what Kohli says or anybody says,” Gaekwad said, pointing out that the same committee did not consult anyone while appointing W.V. Raman as India women’s coach last year despite a lot of controversy.

“If you remember the appointment of women’s coach, there was a lot of controversy. But we didn’t take anyone’s opinion,” the former India batsman and coach said.

“See, whatever (Virat) Kohli or (Ravi) Shastri may say, we have to adhere to BCCI. He was asked about his preference (at the press conference) and Kohli gave his preference for Ravi Shastri. We have nothing to do with that. We are neutral and we would go with an open mind,” the 66-year-old said.

He said the three committee members are awaiting the BCCI guidelines on coach selection as they are yet to discuss the matter among themselves.

“We will act as per the guidelines. We are waiting for that. I have been a coach in the past so too was Kapil. The important thing is man-management, planning, and technical expertise,” he said.

“These three things are most important for a coach to succeed. The Indian team is doing well. But to get them to do better these are the three things. There are a lot of things. But these are the main things. We the committee are yet to talk within ourselves. We have no idea when we’re meeting. So, just wait and watch,” the former India opener added.

Asked about his comments in the media that Shastri has “done well”, Gaekwad said: “Everyone has seen our performance and what happened in the World Cup.

“As a CAC member now, I do not want to give any opinion. At this juncture, I would not like to court anymore controversy by commenting about their show,” he said.