Virender Sehwag is emerging the consensus choice to replace Anil Kumble as the chief coach of the Indian national cricket team. The Cricket Advisory committee , comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman will conduct customary interviews with prospective candidates. Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Lalchand Rajput and Dodda Ganesh are the other names in fray.
Anil Kumble by virtue of his current position stays in contention as he was not required to apply. All six are shortlisted for interviews.
However, but for a last-minute surprise Sehwag remains the first choice. Sources in BCCI confirm that the board, team and the committee of administrators (CoA) and advisors (CAC) are unanimous in their choice for Sehwag.
“Was he (Sehwag) interested? Did he come and say, I want to coach Team India? No! You see the sequence of events. Why (Anil) Kumble is likely to go out? It’s not because CoA or the BCCI or the Committee of Advisors do not want him. In fact, Kumble is considered to be close to the CoA. It is because a set of people who matter the most in the team is not happy with Kumble’s functioning, irrespective of tremendous respect for him. Some of the BCCI veterans also believe that Kumble being engaged as a paid coach while he had held an office in the Karnataka State Cricket Association is not in line with the Lodha Committee recommendations,” says a senior source in the BCCI.
“The same set of people that has influenced Kumble’s likely exit, is also in the commanding position to decide who should be the incumbent. The choice for Sehwag as the next coach has emerged from the dressing room. Senior players have communicated their choice to the concerned board officials, who then approached Sehwag. Team needs Viru more than he needs this job,” says the source. “You (insidesport.co) shouldn’t even have asked these questions. Events you are reporting are self-explanatory).
“Do you think, a two-line application otherwise could survive scrutiny in the BCCI process. If (Craig) McDermott were required, then last date for application clause could have been relieved. Sehwag is invited. His two-line application is entertained. He is guided on how to complete papers. What else do you need to understand now,” the source added.
“He (Sehwag) is coming on his terms. Even salary is negotiated. He will sacrifice so many interests. You can see first cricket coach whose double digits in crores for his salary. It I also simple mathematics. His deal as the Kings XI Punjab was to the tune of rupees three crore for two months. Don’t even think that he will come for six or eight crores”
BCCI does not have set norms to decide national coaches’ salary. This is also evident in the salary pattern of India’s national coaches.
A group in the BCCI is favouring Kumble, under whom India have won 12 of their 17 Test matches, achieved the No. 1 Test ranking; won the ODI series against New Zealand and ODI and T-20 series against England. In comparison, Sehwag only has the coaching experience as mentor of the King’s XI Punjab IPL team.
However, if these data did matter, the board might not have engaged the present head coach selection process at all.