The events as they unfolded on the day India's coach was decided June 9, 2007

As it happened



Graham Ford, like John Emburey, arrived in Chennai on Saturday morning © Getty Images

10:30 - Ford gets the vote

The seven-man committee, after listening to both candidates, decided to recommend Graham Ford's name to the BCCI working committee which will ratify the appointment. That is expected to be a formality, and Ford is now almost certain to take charge for the one-day series against his compatriots in Ireland later this month.

9:30pm - Ford gets his chance

The media weren't allowed onto the first floor where the meeting was being held, but it was believed that Emburey had finished his presentation, leaving the floor to Ford, reportedly the players' choice for the job.

8:30pm - Embers goes first

John Emburey is first to make his presentation in front of the seven-member committee after the meeting starts half an hour late.

8:20pm - Sunil Gavaskar arrives from Goa

Twenty minutes after the others went upstairs, Sunil Gavaskar arrives after having attended a personal function in Goa. As with the others, he's mobbed by waiting media. Before he goes into the elevator, Gavaskar asks: "Is nobody at the [Afro-Asia Cup] match?"

8:00pm - Pawar makes his entrance

As the clock struck eight, Sharad Pawar came down from his suite to the first-floor banquet hall where the meeting is being held. Dressed in white as always, he was surrounded by a phalanx of bodyguards.

7:41pm - The stop-gap man

Ravi Shastri, who coached India in Bangladesh, turns up with Srinivas Venkataraghavan. Again, there's a frenzied response from the assembled media. Shastri asks one if he wants to come in. "Into the elevator?" asks the mediaperson. "No, only into the elevator," quips Shastri before the door slides shut.

7:35pm - The coach-maker arrives

Niranjan Shah, the board secretary, arrives, accompanied by Ratnakar Shetty, the chief executive, N Srinivasan, the treasurer, and MP Pandove. As they're mobbed by TV cameras, Pandove turns around and tells a cameraman: "He's only the secretary, not the coach!" The reply is a classic. "But he's the coach-maker."

7:20pm - Touching gloves

Both men, dressed in suits and carrying laptops, entered the elevator to proceed to the meeting. Despite a posse of photographers clicking away, Ford and Emburey were seen chatting amiably as they proceeded to make the presentations that would decide who would succeed Greg Chappell as Indian coach.

6:30pm - The saga begins

And finally the day of reckoning for the future Indian coach arrived. On a warm yet cloudy Saturday evening, with the Asia XI taking on the Africa XI in the second one-dayer at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk, the action, at least as far as the media was concerned, shifted to the Park Sheraton Hotel and Towers. Sharad Pawar, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, arrived shortly after 5pm and checked into his suite. It's believed - and there has been no information officially disseminated to the media so far - that Graham Ford and John Emburey, the two men vying for the coach's job, would have to make their presentations either in Pawar's suite or in the Elliot banquet hall.

The rest of the committee were yet to reach the hotel. BCCI officials also on the committee were at the MA Chidambaram Stadium watching the match, and were only expected to arrive closer to 8pm, when it was believed that the meetings would begin. Sunil Gavaskar, the most influential of the three former Indian cricketers in the seven-man committee, had already excused himself from commentary duties with ESPN, who are broadcasting the Afro-Asia Cup. It has been reported that Gavaskar was in Goa, attending to a family function, but he was expected to be present at the meetings that will decide between Ford and Emburey.

Ravi Shastri, another former cricketer on the panel who is on contract with ESPN, had asked his employers to be excused and would make it to the Park Sheraton in time for the discussions. At half-past six, however, only Pawar was present at the venue, and his presence was hard to miss given the elaborate police protection all round the hotel. Right from cars parked outside, with cops inside ready and on the go, to policemen in uniform keeping watch outside the hotel and in the foyer where the elevators to Pawar's room were located, khaki was everywhere.

When the same committee met in Bangalore and announced the short-list of Ford and Emburey, the media were kept out of the Hotel Grand Ashok, ostensibly on "security grounds", and as yet, a similar measure had not been taken in Chennai.

Anand Vasu is associate editor of Cricinfo

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