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The Board of Confusion for Cricket in India

BCCI on the one hand is taking the fight head on with game’s ruling body the ICC over its revenue model, but on the home front it is cutting a sorry figure as it finds itself in a mess over the head coach Anil Kumble’s resignation even after doing well.

The head coach selection for Team India is no doubt important, but sadly it been blown out of proportion by the media today. It looks like India is selecting a occupant of Rashtrapati Bhawan or a Prime Minister facing a no – confidence vote in parliament. Such is the way the Kumble – Kohli rift and Jumbo’s exit was played out. Each channels having their own exclusive insights to the story .

For this selection quagmire, the image of the BCCI has taken a severe beating. Instead of being the Board of Control for cricket in India, it is rather presenting an adage as the Board of Confusion for cricket in India.

While many are pointing fingers at Indian cricket skipper Virat Kohli for his aggressive instinct and somewhat arrogant attitude over the head coach selection, But the question arises is Kohli really at fault on the issue ? . My answer will be No.

I would rather Blame the BCCI than Kohli over the issue. The BCCI to me had dug its own grave when it allowed players to have a say in head coach selection. They gave in and the result is all to see today. Earlier coaches for the Indian cricket team were decided by the Board and it ended there itself. It is altogether a different matter that coaches were replaced when they were unable to deliver results or saw their tenure ending.

Foreign players turned coaches like John Wright, Gary Kirsten, Greg Chappell and Duncan Fletcher did not come here on a holiday and were appointed free. All had stints with the Team India as players backed them for the top job.
If relationship between coaches and skippers did break down as in the case of Sachin Tendulkar – Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly – Greg Chappell and to the latest between Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble, questions will be raised as to how these happened and why the BCCI allow this to drift and was mute spectator?

Before the Kumble – Kohli spat, there was the Greg Chappell and Sourav Ganguly spat. It is widely known that Ganguly had gone out of his way to back Greg Chappell’s candidature and effectively dashed 1983 World Cup team’s vice captain Mohinder Amarnath’s wish to coach Team India.

The former BCCI president Ranbir Singh Mahendra , under whom Chappell was appointed in 2005 had reportedly said that he had no regrets in appointing Chappell (pushed by Ganguly) he was the right choice at that time and the best among all the candidates.

Interestingly, Chappell was appointed by a three member committee of the BCCI comprising – Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and S Venkataraghavan. It was another matter that very soon , Gavaskar and Shastri turned bitter against the very man they chose as coach.

Today, Sourav is part of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) along with Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman. And again the coach selection nightmare has come back to haunt Sourav Ganguly. The left hander had some time back regretted the error in 2005 over coach selection when he reportedly remarked: “I once had an opportunity to select the coach. I thought I messed it up in 2005.”

Sorry Sourav, you have messed it up all over again. Agreed Chappell went out after a rather tumultuous reign after being handpicked by you? What went wrong with Anil Kumble after doing so well after being picked by you Sachin and Laxman? The nation really wants to know.

Why is it that both Sourav and Sachin are so quick to lash out at Greg Chappell and his tenure as coach are silent on Kumble’s exit despite a fabulous successful stint with the team?

If coaches have accountability over performances there has be accountability of the selection panel which selects coaches too? It is rather bizarre to find the very persons who select coaches turn out to be biggest critics of the selected coaches.

The legendary trio of Sourav , Sachin and Laxman present a poor picture after the resignation of Anil Kumble. It appears as if they cannot take on the aggressive and upfront Virat Kohli head on.

Virat Kohli has every right to have a say in head coach selection. You cannot have one rule for Sourav Ganguly as skipper and different for Virat Kohli. This would be totally unfair. Team India is Virat Kohli’s now and it will be so for some time now. Let there be no doubt on that front whatsoever.

As Sourav finds himself in a soup after Kumble’s exit, the BCCI seems to have no answers really how to deal with it. Though it has announced that the new coach will be announced before India’s tour to Sri Lanka, it remains to be seen how they sort this mess they find themselves in.

The reason I am pointing fingers at the inept handling of the head coach by the BCCI is that one of it’s senior members for a long time, Rajeev Shukla apparently has no clue as to what is happening under his feet. Shukla few days back had said that captain will have no say in coach selection. If this is so why are then reports of Kohli batting for Shastri as coach coming to the fore? Why did the BCCI release an advertisement application for head coach just before the team left for the Champions Trophy? These are serious queries which have gone unanswered. The truth needs to come out for this farce.

Moreover one is clearly not all surprised by Shukla’s stand. In-fact, Shukla has often overtly showed ignorance of host of issues and controversies involving the BCCI over the years gone by – Be it Lalit Modi’s running of the IPL, S Sreesant spot- fixing episode, the reign of N Srinivasan and role of Gurunath Meiyappan in betting, and the latest being of Anil Kumble resigning as head coach. It is indeed a mystery why Shukla despite all the scandals right under his nose continues to remain as IPL chairman.

Hence it is time BCCI puts its own house in order one of the prime reason why India lost the Champions Trophy was because BCCI did not have its priorities right – It was concerned more about revenue loss by ICC’s new revenue model, delayed team announcement and was more interested in having on board Chinese companies – Vivo, Oppo and others as sponsors for its lucrative IPL and Team India jersey’s. Defending the Champions Trophy was the last thing on their mind.

Pakistan and PCB won because they wanted to salvage their cricket and had the hunger, India lost because the BCCI for a few dollars were least bothered about national pride and more happy to dance to the tune of the advertisers and counting their moolah.

Lastly, Can there be any better example of sheer arrogance and blatant defiance when the BCCI at one point threatened to pull out of all ICC events in the near future if their financial clout is threatened? This is BCCI for you.

About ARIJEET DUTTA

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Picture Courtesy : The Indian Express

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