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Cricket Advisory Committee defends Dravid, Zaheer appointment

VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly gesture at an event for pink-ball cricket AFP

Reverberations continued to be felt after the appointment of Ravi Shastri as India coach, as tension emerged between the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that appointed him and the BCCI's Committee of Administrators (CoA). After a CoA member reportedly suggested the CAC had exceeded its brief in appointing Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan as consultants to support Shastri, the CAC hit back in an email in which it clarified its role in the process.

On Thursday, a CoA member was quoted in Indian media suggesting the CAC had overreached. In response the CAC sent the CoA an email addressed to chairman Vinod Rai, making it clear that it had informed both the new coach Shastri and the captain Virat Kohli that they would be joined by Dravid and Zaheer.

A member of the CAC strongly defended their appointments, saying the panel had got an email from Rai giving it full authority to oversee the coach recruitment process. "We have got an e-mail from the BCCI CEO [Rahul Johri] which had Vinod Rai saying you have got absolute free hand in deciding who will coach Indian cricket," a member, clearly incensed, said. "We have those e-mails. We are writing to Vinod Rai."

According to the CAC member, they have not received any direct communication from the CoA questioning their efforts in bringing Dravid and Zaheer on board. He also pointed out that the CAC had made sure both Shastri - "he was taken into confidence on everything, he was absolutely ready with it" - and Kohli were in the loop. "We have taken Virat Kohli into confidence. Every person who is involved knew about this".

The CAC member said that the panel was trying to clean up the mess created by the BCCI in the first place when it gave Anil Kumble a one-year contract. He added that the board had asked the panel about their recommendation for the position of coach - after an advertisement inviting new applications had been sent out - and they had replied saying Kumble remained their first choice.

But when he decided to resign, the CAC tried hard to, first repair the damage between Kumble and Kohli, and when that couldn't happen, pick the best available option in Shastri.

"We spoke to Kumble and we spoke to Virat on separate days. Then the BCCI representatives spoke to both of them together. After which Anil went out and resigned," the CAC member said.

But after all of this, the CAC member could not understand why they were being criticised. "You ask us to pick a coach and we do it honestly. And then we get battered for no fault of ours. We were asked to pick a coach last year independently. We picked the best candidate. That candidate gave you results for one year then you kicked him out. The CoA was nowhere in picture to solve the problem. We don't have the authority to solve the problem. If the CoA was in England and solved the problem, it wouldn't have come this far.

"Anil Kumble resigned. You advertised for the job on May 25. Then you advertised again accepting fresh applications till July 9. You got applications. Who picked the best person?"