Indian cricket at crossroads April 6, 2007

Board keen on administrative and media managers

Ravis Shastri has been appointed as the cricket manager, not the administrative manager, for the tour of Bangladesh © AFP

The Board of Control for Cricket in India, in an attempt to professionalise the way it works, has decided to appoint a permanent administrative manager and media manager for the Indian cricket team. It is learnt that it will make this announcement on Saturday when the Board's working committee meets in Mumbai.

"We have created two new posts, that of administrative manager and media manager," a senior board official told Cricinfo. "Both positions will carry two-year terms and will be paid, not honorary jobs."

The appointment of a permanent administrative manager and media manager for the Indian cricket team has been one of the strident demands of the players, especially Rahul Dravid, and of Greg Chappell over the course of the last two years.

There has been some confusion over the exact designation Ravi Shastri will have if he accepts the offer made to him. Shastri will play the role of cricket manager, which is different from that of the administrative manager, whose responsibility it will be to deal with the logistics involved in running cricket tours. At present a manager is appointed on a series-by-series basis, from within officers of the board. It is seen by some as a chance to dispense favours, handing out plum assignments to representatives of state associations who may come in use when the elections come around.

The board has not yet identified the individuals it hopes will fulfil these roles but has decided to constitute the posts and fill them in due course. Its most recent appointment in the process of professionalisation was that of Professor Ratnakar Shetty as administrative head.

The BCCI has also recently seen a rash of officials passing comments - both personal and in an official capacity - to the media and, in attempt to stop this, has decided to appoint an official spokesperson. This person alone, and perhaps a designated alternate, will make statements and pass on official communications to the media.

"The board's image is being unnecessarily harmed by various individuals making statements at inappropriate times," the source said. "Even before this meeting there were some comments that could have been avoided. The comments made it look like the reports of the coach and manager were already submitted and that the meeting was an eyewash. Such things just dilute what we are trying to do."

Anand Vasu is associate editor of Cricinfo