It must be bizarre being Ravi Shastri. Being appointed the coach of the Indian national team but not being told his salary.
Truth be told, having been in charge of the media at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in its heyday, I should have known that back home in India there is a Committee of Administrators (CoA) and a Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) within the Board of Control for Cricket in India hierarchy. I had no idea until I read this week of these committees wrecking the announcements made by BCCI on Zaheer Khan and placing them on freeze.
I thought CoA was an error. Maybe it was meant to be the Chief of the Army Staff, but the ‘S’ had gone missing. I was wrong.
Till now I laboured under the misconception that the BCCI was all powerful. It made an appointment and that was that, no sieving the decision through half-a-dozen tsarist committees. But after Anil Kumble was rudely shunted out and Shastri brought in, and then Shastri was embarrassed by Sourav Ganguly who kept the decision on his appointment on hold, I began to wonder how many bosses there are in the sports body? Not just that, but how many coaches, managers, assistant managers and support coaches are needed?
Ganguly has now been hung out to dry and things are a mess again. To treat senior players like Kumble, Shastri, Ganguly and Zaheer this way does not augur well for Indian cricket. Also, when captains enter administrative politics, there will always be a crisis flashpoint.
Then there is also the matter of Shastri being grateful to Virat Kohli for liking him and, therefore, being Mr Nice Guy and retaining the favour. Otherwise, hang on Anil I am right behind you. This hobbles him even before the race has begun. Are we saying that if Kohli had not liked Shastri enough, his job would go? That’s the way it has been packaged.
Kumble was a highly successful coach. This is the manner in which we rewarded him! Showing him the door and then slamming it shut on him. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was our most successful captain. Now we project him as a spent force, a has-been and make him feel small and abashed.
This corruption of values we are witnessing in the Indian cricket pavilion is evidence that the BCCI and its sub-committees and their fancy self-imposed titles are ruled by the power of their lucre and not be convention, courtesy or precedent.
The fact that almost every announcement is countered and there are a dozen spokespersons for this fiefdom underscores Justice Lodha’s call to dismantle this clumsy, unwieldy edifice.
Even now, having given Shastri the coach’s job they cannot calculate his salary. Anyone who has got a job knows that when he gets his appointment letter, his perks and privileges are mentioned in it. Even the office boy in a poorly-run organisation knows what his salary will be. We are now told to believe that Shastri accepted being coach of India’s cricket team but forgot/did not ask/ thought it unimportant to check out the clause referring to how much money he would get.
Ask yourselves, have you ever taken a job and overlooked the basic premise of what the salary was?
Now they will have an extraordinary session to decide what Shastri is worth.
So if and when Zaheer gets his appointment letter, will there also be another chapter where the BCCI and the COA and the CAC sit in special session to discuss their emoluments.
Why is this circus allowed to come to town and pitch tent?