The legendary Kapil Dev could be part of the panel to finalise India’s new women’s cricket coach as there is a possibility that the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) may not be able to conduct the process for various reasons. The position of women’s coach has been left vacant after a bitter end to Ramesh Powar’s interim tenure on November 30 and the deadline for potential candidates to file applications ends on December 15.
As per norms, the CAC is mandated to conduct interviews for the job but the committee, comprising the legendary trio of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly, may not be part of the process owing to prior commitments.
“Sachin (Tendulkar), (VVS) Laxman and Sourav (Ganguly) will be asked first and once they give it in writing that they are interested, they will decide on a new coach,” a BCCI source privy to the development, told PTI on condition of anonymity.
However, there is speculation that the CAC may refuse like it did during the choice of junior national selectors and a new panel could be formed. The CAC had opted out of the junior selectors’ selection process citing prior commitments. Tendulkar had also cited conflict of interest due to his son Arjun’s active career at the age-group level right now.
“The BCCI is looking at eminent names and right now we have around five names on our radar depending on their availability. Also we have checked whether there’s any Conflict of Interest,” the official said.
“Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad, Shubhangi Kulkarni and Shantha Rangaswamy are some of the names that BCCI will approach and depending on their availability, will constitute a three-member panel,” he added.
Of these, Gavaskar may not come on board due to his media commitments. “Gavaskar is the biggest name but he has so many media commitments. However, both Gavaskar as he has shown in his columns, is a passionate follower of women’s game and so is Kapil, who has the best interest of Indian cricket in mind,” the official said.
“Anshu and Shubhangi are respected in the Indian cricket fraternity and are acceptable names,” he added.
Powar’s term ended a week after India lost the semifinals of the World T20 to England. The furore started after the team management dropped Mithali Raj from the knock-out fixture. Mithali went on to accuse Powar and Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji of trying to destroy her and having a bias against her.
Powar, on his part, accused Mithali of threatening to retire midway into the World T20 after being denied the opening slot and creating chaos in the team.
A senior BCCI official criticised the CoA for its handling of the entire issue and said it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the CAC refuses to be a part of the selection process given how it was “over-ruled” in the Virat Kohli-Anil Kumble fallout last year.
Kumble had to resign from the coach’s position after a fallout with Kohli and Ravi Shastri was brought in on the captain’s insistence despite reservations expressed by the CAC. “If CoA has decided already that CAC might not be interested, then blame it on how they were bypassed during Virat Kohli-Anil Kumble fiasco and subsequent appointment of Ravi Shastri,” a senior official said.
“No wonder this issue has also not been handled professionally and CoA has been projected in very poor light,” he added.