Millennium Post

Kapil-led CAC to pick next India's men's cricket coach

New Delhi: A Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) led by World Cup-winning former captain Kapil Dev was on Friday entrusted with the responsibility of selecting India's new coach, the interviews for which are expected to be conducted in mid-August.

The decision was taken by the Committee of Administrators (COA) running Indian cricket after a meeting here.

Apart from Kapil, the panel, which picked the women's coach in December last year in the capacity of an ad-hoc body, comprises former women's captain Shantha Rangaswamy and former men's coach Anshuman Gaekwad.

However, the CAC's appointment is specific to picking only the next India coach and is subject to conflict of interest.

Both Kapil and Rangaswamy are also involved with the formation of the Indian Cricketers' Association (ICA) and ethics officers D K Jain will now decide if their roles are conflicted or not.

"These three will pick the men's coach. It is not an ad-hoc body. But this all is subject to conflict of interest and they will give us an undertaking. The interviews of the candidates are expected to take place in mid-August," COA chief Vinod Rai said after the meeting.

Asked if captain Virat Kohli will have any say in the process, Rai said, "No, he has no opinion."

As per the BCCI constitution, the CAC can only be appointed at the BCCI AGM which is scheduled for October 22.

"This CAC (Kapil, Shantha and Anshuman) will only pick the next India coach and it is absolutely legal," added Rai.

The same set of people picked the women's coach and that led to a division in the COA with Diana Edulji calling the move unconstitutional. She is yet to express her views regarding the men's coach appointment.

India's incumbent coach Ravi Shastri has been handed an extension till the end of the tour of West Indies from August 3 to September 3. Shastri will have to reapply to be in contention for the position. The last date for applications is July 30.

The COA is, however, still awaiting Supreme Court directions on the conflict of interest case involving the original CAC members Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.

The two have been asked to choose one out of the multiple cricketing roles they are performing at the moment, including commentary.

Only CAC is empowered to pick the head coach but with the old panel comprising Ganguly, Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar as good as dysfunctional, the Kapil-led panel has been finalised for the men's appointment as well.

Meanwhile, India's current bowling coach Bharat Arun is likely to retain his position even if there are multiple candidates while R Sridhar will have his nose ahead despite South African star Jonty Rhodes throwing his hat in the ring for the fielding coach's position.

But batting coach Sanjay Bangar might find it difficult to retain his position when the national selectors pick the support staff for the Indian team.

All three have got extension along with head coach Ravi Shastri till the end of the upcoming tour of the West Indies and after that, fresh interviews will be conducted with all the incumbents automatically in fray.

If those privy to the developments are to be believed, Arun could turn out to be a unanimous choice considering the performance of India's pacers in all formats of the game.

"In the last 18 to 20 months, the work put in by Arun has been phenomenal. The current Indian attack is considered to be the best in the longest format. Mohammed Shami back at his best and (Jasprit) Bumrah's consistency are a few things Arun must get credit for.

It's up to the selectors but they might find it difficult to replace him," a senior BCCI official said on Friday.

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