Ravi Shastri has been left a disappointed man after the Board of Control for Cricket in India named Anil Kumble as the head coach of the Indian cricket team for a year on Thursday. Shastri was a top contender for the top job.
Currently on a holiday, Shastri told Mid-Day.com that he was disappointed with BCCI`s decision but wished Kumble “good luck”.
“Yes, for the work put in, and results produced in the last 18 months. But if it (tenure) was for only one year then, not really,” said Shastri, who is known to speak his mind.
The former Indian all-rounder had kept his TV commentary job aside to take over as Team Director when India were getting thrashed in a Test series in the summer of 2014 in England.
Shastri joined head coach Duncan Fletcher and MS Dhoni in August 2014 and till the end of India`s campaign in the ICC World T20 in March-April this year, was in full command of Team India.
“It`s time to move on and do what you do best. I must say I had the ultimate experience with a young and happening side,” Shastri said.
India did well under Shastri`s directorship. They reached the semis of two World Cups and won a Test series in Sri Lanka after a gap of 22 years.
Till Kumble made a late entry, Shastri was in pole position to win a stint as head coach. Kumble was not on the 21-man shortlist for the final interview with the Cricket Advisory Committee but the BCCI left a small window for candidates without the set qualifying marks. Even though the BCCI did not appoint him, the Board made a special mention of Shastri`s good work in their official release on Thursday night.
Reports suggest that it was Sourav Ganguly who pushed former teammate Kumble to the hilt. Finally, Ganguly won the support of Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, the other members of the advisory panel. The BCCI finally endorsed the view of the advisory panel.
Ganguly, as president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, is an important member in Board`s scheme of things. Thus, to consign the former Test captain`s recommendation on head coach to the backburner would not have been an easy thing for BCCI boss Anurag Thakur to do.
After Shashank Manohar stepped down as Board chief, Thakur was elected president of BCCI after East Zone backed him to the fullest and Bengal played the role of a catalyst.