The hunt for Indian Cricket Coach
June 04: Led by Sharad Pawar and BCCI officials, a panel will meet in Bangalore and select a new coach for Indian cricket team. Though there are new names that have come into the fray now but rumors are that Dav Whatmore has an edge over other nominees.
"After looking at and considering all the aspects, I think Whatmore stands a good chance," said the BCCI secretary, Niranjan Shah.
Apart from Pawar, the panel comprises of secretary Niranjan Shah, joint-secretary M.P.Pandove, and treasurer N.Srinivasan, former captains Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and S Venkatraghavan.
No doubt Whatmore seems to be the favorite but the things are not that simple. Former South African coach Graham Ford is also in the race, and has shown his desire like Whatmore to coach Indian cricket team.
Ford who had a successful run as a coach of South Africa (1999-2001) is currently engaged as the director of cricket with Kent County in England.
However these foreign names can face tough opposition from former Indian captain, Sunil Gavaskar who wants to rope in former Indian batsman Gundappa Viswanath some way or the other.
Whatmore also has to face the Indian vs foreigner debate with one of the panelists, Gavaskar, who even criticized his role indirectly with the Bangladesh side during the recent Indian series in his syndicated columns.
Kapil Dev is also in favor of the Indian coach and he too has been critical of Whatmore.
Some of the senior players have come up with their suggestions regarding the new coach, and have discussed it with their interim coach Ravi Shastri. So the player’s consideration will also be a factor in the ultimate selection as Shastri will represent their point of view in the meeting
A few more Indian names are likely to be discussed for the post like the usual suspects, Sandeep Patil and Mohinder Amarnath. But the smart money will still be on former Australian batsman Dav Whatmore walking away with the job. The end result, however, is not as easy as it looks.
There is another probability that the Board may go in for a compromise, appointing a foreign coach and giving the job of a batting consultant to Viswanath.
Whatever be the result of this meeting, the new coach will have to work with bowling Coach Venkatesh Prasad and fielding coach Robin Singh. Both the Indians, along with the new coach, are expected to be handed a year's term.
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