New Delhi: Former England batsman Owais Shah is yet another foreign aspirant who has joined the race to become the next coach of the Indian women’s team.
Karachi-born Shah joins South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs, India's Manoj Prabhakar and possibly Australia’s Dav Whatmore to have applied for the coveted position which was advertised by the BCCI after coach Ramesh Powar’s contract wasn’t extended.
“It’s true, I have applied for the position recently. I enjoy coaching a lot and followed the women’s World Cup in the Caribbean closely. I believe I have something to offer to the India team because I have had success coaching teams around the world,” Shah told CricketNext from London on Tuesday (December 11).
Shah, who played six Tests and 71 ODIs for England, turned out for T20 franchises all over the globe including Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. He was the head coach of UAE till January 2017 before being replaced by fellow Englishman Dougie Brown.
“I think I fit all the criterion that BCCI is looking for in the new coach. I have the advantage over other foreign coaches because I can speak fluent Hindi. I have played a lot of cricket in India as well including my time at the IPL, so I have a good idea how Indian cricket functions,” the 40-year-old said.
The Englishman is not worried that the women’s coach position has been mired in controversy in the recent times with both Powar and previous coach Tushar Arothe departing in acrimonious circumstances.
“I don’t see any reason why I need to be worried. If picked for the job, I will come with a clean slate with the job to manage players. I will try to use the players’ experience to bring the best out of the team,” Shah, who had turned out in Big Bash League, Bangladesh Premier League and Caribbean Premier League in the past, said.
Meanwhile, it is understood that Committee of Administrators (CoA) are prepared to pay a salary commensurate of the ‘stature’ of coach finally selected.
“It’s true that the contract could be worth between Rs 3 to 4 crores but the salary will depend on stature and experience of the coach that is finally picked,” a source close to the CoA said.
The Indian applicant among those who have applied so far, Prabhakar, believes the BCCI and the CoA should refrain from looking beyond India.
“Why should they consider a foreign coach, when an Indian option is available? I have coached Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan teams very successfully in first-class cricket. I was the one who managed to rectify the technical defects in Ishant Sharma’s bowling when we luckily got time together in Delhi,” Prabhakar told CricketNext.
Asked if he is concerned about the recent controversies surrounding the job, Prabhakar said, “The past troubles occurred because the previous two coaches have no experience of playing Test cricket for India. The basics of cricket coaching remains the same for both men and women. The players will respond better to your instructions and suggestions if you have experience of playing top level cricket.”
The Delhi seam bowling all-rounder who represented India in 39 Tests and 130 ODIs added that he is yet to hear back from the BCCI or CoA about the status of his application.
Australia’s Whatmore, who is currently head coach of Kerala, didn’t deny applying for the job as well. “These issues are supposed to be confidential. I don’t want to comment of the matter right now,” Whatmore said.
The last date for filling the application for the job is December 14 while the interviews will be conducted by an ad-hoc committee that features former India cricketers Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy, the BCCI announced through a media release on Tuesday.