Though it appears the Cricket Advisory Committee hadn't informed Ravi Shastri that one of its members would not be present at his interview for the position of India coach, ESPNcricinfo has learnt the panel itself was aware of this.
The BCCI had asked the panel to help find a successor to Shastri, who had been India's team director for nearly two years until the World T20. They were forwarded a shortlist of 21 candidates from the board secretary Ajay Shirke's office and met a handful of them, including Shastri, last Tuesday for final deliberations. On Thursday, Anil Kumble was appointed head coach.
Expressing disappointment at missing out on the job, Shastri told the media that Sourav Ganguly had been absent at the time of his interview. "If he was present, he would have asked some questions. I wish he was there," Shastri told Mumbai Mirror.
According to a senior BCCI official privy to the minutes of the interview, Ganguly was briefed on Shastri's presentation by the other members of the panel - Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and coordinator Sanjay Jagdale - when he rejoined them.
"He [Ganguly] had told the committee that he had some commitment, and after sometime, he came back," the official told ESPNcricinfo. "In any case, he was kept in the loop and the panel told what Shastri said during his presentation. Importantly, all other members of the committee were present when Shastri was interviewed."
Ganguly had to attend two events on Tuesday. He was at the announcement of his book release at 1pm, but was back with the panel half an hour later. Then, between 5 and 6.30 pm, he was at the working committee meeting of Cricket Association of Bengal, where he is the president.
ESPNcricinfo could not confirm these details independently, but it is reported that Shastri's interview took place during the CAB meeting.
According to BCCI president Anurag Thakur, Kumble was one of the few names the panel had recommended to him. Thakur did not reveal whether Shastri was part of the final picks.
Without giving away much in his only public appearance since playing a part in finding the new India coach, Ganguly told the Indian Express, "The [coach selection] interview is absolutely confidential. I don't want to talk about Shastri's comment. You should also ask the other members of the advisory committee."
Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo