The BCCI, on Tuesday, announced the appointment of India batting coach Sanjay Bangar as the deputy to head coach Ravi Shastri and Bharat Arun as the bowling coach of the Indian cricket team. Both the appointments were made for a two-year period, till the 2019 World Cup. Fielding coach R Sridhar was retained in his role.
"It's a privilege and honour to be the Indian coach, and I would like to thank the CAC for thinking I'm worthy enough to do the job," Shastri said in the press conference that was also attended by the BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary. Shastri also clarified that the inputs of Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan would be welcome and they would be brought on board once they have spoken to the authorities.
There was a considerable amount of drama, first with the selection of the head coach himself, and then his support staff over the past few weeks. The appointments of Zaheer and Dravid as bowling and batting consultants respectively by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman ran into trouble as the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) interpreted that as exceeding of the brief by the CAC.
The COA was also of the view that a coach should have the right to choose his support staff and not have people foisted upon him. It was well known that Shastri had a preference for Arun as the full-time bowling coach and Zaheer's apparent non-availability for any more than 150 days per season would have gone against him as well. The contracts if Zaheer and Dravid were accordingly put on hold and a committee, comprising acting BCCI president CK Khanna, CEO Rahul Johri and acting secretary Amitabh Chadhuary and COA member Diana Edulji, was formed to decide on Shastri's support staff and also on how to utilise the services of Zaheer and Dravid.
There were reports earlier this week that claimed Arun had been appointed as the bowling coach, though contrary reports surfaced almost immediately, which quoted Arun himself saying that he was yet to land that job.
Now, with BCCI having made the appointments of the entire India coaching staff clear, one hopes the curtain finally comes down on the great Indian coach-selection drama.