The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising of Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar wrote a strongly worded letter to COA chief Vinod Rai on Thursday, expressing its disappointment over the perception that the appointments of Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid were forced upon head coach Ravi Shastri.
The COA (Committee of Administrators), according the CAC, hasn’t fought the media impression that the CAC has gone over and above its brief of appointing a head coach for the Indian Cricket Team by appointing Rahul Dravid as overseas batting consultant and Zaheer Khan as bowling consultant. The letter, a copy of which is with PTI read:
“We spoke to Mr Shastri about getting Mr Khan and Mr Dravid on board in these capacities, and he readily agreed to the idea of having them in the set-up so that it would benefit the team and Indian cricket as a whole in time to come. It was only after getting Mr Shastri’s consent that we also recommended Mr Khan and Mr Dravid, in their respective capacities. There have been suggestions that the CAC has exceeded its ambit in going with Mr Khan and Mr Dravid and these two legends of Indian cricket has been foisted on the head coach. Also we did inform you (Rai) over the phone along with Rahul Johri and Amitabh Choudhary of all that transpired immediately after the meeting was over.”
The CAC was apparently given a free hand by the COA in the appointment of the coach of the Indian cricket team, something which it sought to remind Vinod Rai of in the letter. It also urged Rai to clear the air surrounding the appointment of Dravid and Khan, so that falsehoods were not being passed off as facts in the public domain.
“You will be aware that we put our heart and soul into the process, approaching a task made delicate by the recent developments with a clear head and with soul aim of providing Indian team with best resources possible to become world beaters they are capable of being. It has both pained and disappointed us, therefore, to see the light in which the CAC has been portrayed in various sections of the media. It is our desire that you come public about the transparency of the process of identifying the next head coach so that the falsehoods are put to bed.”
The letter concluded:
“As we have outlined, that (forcing Zaheer and Dravid on Shastri) is not the case, it is imperative that the cricket- loving public at large is made aware of the reality. We could do it ourselves, of course, but we don’t want to further queer the pitch. So we would respectfully request you to clear the air and set the record straight in this regard. The three of us played our cricket with great integrity, and we have brought that same trait in fulfilling this important responsibility bestowed upon us by the BCCI. While we are not looking for plaudits, we do not appreciate the tone and the falsehoods of the narratives.”
The BCCI has since come out with a clarification which said that Ravi Shastri was consulted before the appointment of Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan in their respective roles.