New Delhi: With chief coach Anil Kumble stepping down after the Champions Trophy due to skipper Virat Kohli's reservations with his "style", discussions on the next India coach is expected to dominate the Special General Meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Monday. But interestingly, the board has decided to keep the discussion with regards to the coach off the record as it does not even find a mention in the agenda set for the meeting.
The letter, a copy of which is in possession of CricketNext, has seven points that have been set as the talking points or agendas for the meeting and distributed among the members. The letter was sent to the members on June 12, keeping a two-week window between the date of intimation and the date of the SGM as per norms.
This after acting BCCI chief CK Khanna made it very clear on June 9 after landing in London — during the Champions Trophy — that all matters relating to the appointment of the next India coach would be discussed in the SGM.
“I have written a letter to the secretary asking him to defer the recruitment process (of coach) till June 26 when BCCI’s SGM will be held. At this point in time, it will not be prudent to carry on with the process when India is playing a tournament,” Khanna had said. “Whether it is Anil Kumble retained or anyone else roped in, whoever gets the job will be given a contract till 2019 World Cup.”
Despite this confirmation from the acting chief, the 7-point agenda talks about all things but the coach’s position. But officials who will be attending the meeting have made it clear that talks about the next India coach will obviously dominate the meeting as it is on top of the priority list as far as the BCCI is concerned.
“Not having it on the agenda doesn’t mean that such a matter cannot be discussed or brought up. It is obviously an issue that is on top of the priority list as far as the BCCI is concerned. Why it wasn’t a part of the agenda is not something I can throw light on. But yes, you can be rest assured that the matter will be brought up as the members too would wish to know what led to Kumble’s ouster and what is the future plan of action of the Cricket Advisory Committee. In fact, Sourav Ganguly — president of CAB and a member of the CAC — will also be there,” one of the officials said.
Another official said that the top brass of the BCCI might have been certain that Kumble would have accepted the extension and that is why it wasn’t part of the agenda for the SGM.
“I am not too sure, but one reason behind the point missing from the SGM could be the confidence the board had that Kumble would accept the extension offered to him by the CAC till the end of the West Indies tour,” he said.
As things stand, it could well be a three-way race between former team director Ravi Shastri, former India opener Virender Sehwag and Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody to become the next coach of the Indian team. While Sehwag and Moody have already submitted their resume, Shastri has refused to stand in queue and has informed BCCI that he will speak to the CAC or other BCCI officials on the matter only if he is guaranteed the job. The BCCI has also extended the deadline for submission of resumes for the job.
Clearly, former coach Kumble bowled the perfect googly in the end and flummoxed not just the Indian team members by not joining them on the London-Port of Spain British Airways flight, but also the bigwigs in the BCCI who despite Khanna mentioning that the matter will be discussed in the SGM were confident that he would accept the extension and decided to skip the issue while setting the agenda for the meeting.