The controversy over the appointment of Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan as overseas batting and bowling consultants took a new turn on Saturday with the BCCI forming a four-member committee to take a call on the assistant coaches for the national cricket team.
The constitution of the committee, which will comprise acting President CK Khanna, acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary, Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji and board CEO Rahul Johri as the convener, virtually signals that the decision to appoint Dravid and Khan could be revisited.
The two were chosen by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC)comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. That has been a sticking point with new coach Ravi Shastri, who is reportedly interested in having his own set of assistant coaches.
Constituted at the CoA meeting here on Saturday, the committee will first meet on Tuesday and then take a call on their appointment to assist the newly-appointed head coach Ravi Shastri after consulting him, a BCCI source told IANS.
The committee has also been tasked with deciding on the contracts that will be handed to the coaches, including the head coach.
“Yes, the four-member committee has now been given the responsibility to take a call on the assistant coaches of the Indian team,” the source said.
“The committee will first meet on Tuesday to look into the appointments of the assistant coaches before taking a final call on their salaries and contracts.
“If the committee fails to decide on Tuesday, it will once again meet on Saturday (July 22) to discuss the matter. The committee will also scrutinise the candidates for the post of team manager on Saturday,” he added.
Meanwhile, CoA chief Vinod Rai said on Saturday that Dravid and Zaheer are yet to be appointed and the final decision will only be taken after consultation with Shastri.
“The CAC has only made the recommendations on which the CoA has to act. So far, no contracts have been given to Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid. They have not been appointed,” Rai told reporters here.
“Final decision on the support staff of Team India will be taken in consultation with head coach Ravi Shastri,” he added.
Earlier on Friday, Ganguly had clarified that Zaheer will be offered a contract of 150 days per season.
“Zaheer was contacted for 150 days per year,” Ganguly told reporters at the Eden Gardens.
The decision to finalise the names of the assistant coaches by next Saturday also means that the Indian team will leave for the tour of Sri Lanka on Wednesday sans a bowling and batting consultant.
The Virat Kohli-led side will land in Sri Lanka for a three-match Test series, followed by five One-day Internationals (ODI) and a solitary T20 International game.