In a country where cricket is no less than a religion, the race for Indian cricket team’s next coach is undoubtedly a crucial one with the entire fandom glued to the happenings. According to a report in news agency PTI, former team director Ravi Shastri is the front-runner for the coveted post. However, earlier several media reports claimed that former opener Virender Sehwag is also a top contender. Shastri had initially not applied for the post but when the BCCI extended the deadline for acceptance of applications till July 9 (today), the former skipper jumped into the fray and suddenly became the hot favourite. Given his cordial equation with Virat, Shastri, who had a successful tenure as team director with India reaching the 50 over World Cup semifinal, is the favourite. The three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) will be meeting in Mumbai on Monday to scrutinise the candidates’ list for the high-profile job of Indian men’s cricket team coach.
For the record, BCCI received 10 CVs — Shastri, Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Dodda Ganesh, Lalchand Rajput, Lance Klusener, Rakesh Sharma (Oman national team coach), Phil Simmons and Upendranath Bramhachari (engineer with no cricketing background). PTI reported that the CAC will interview six of the 10 candidates. As per PTI sources, the six likely candidates who are to be interviewed are Shastri, Sehwag, Moody, Simmons, Pybus and Rajput. Klusener, as of now, may be kept on stand-by but has very little or no chance of getting the job, PTI said.
The position had fallen vacant after former head coach and legendary spinner Anil Kumble resigned from the post before the West Indies series due to differences with skipper Virat Kohli. After the Kumble-Kohli saga, the CAC will have to be prudent in its choice as the new coach will be given a two-year contract.