Ask Sourav Ganguly ‘what problem he has with me’ says Ravi Shastri


New Delhi: Days after Anil Kumble was appointed India's head coach for the next one year, the simmering tensions have refused to die down. In the race to become coach were several high-profile former cricketers, which included the likes of Ravi Shastri and Sandeep Patil. Now a controversy has broken out between former India captains Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri that has brought out into the open the simmering discontent over the issue that is threatening to blow out of control.

Ravi Shastri was recommended by the Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising players like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, V V S Laxman, to be the Indian cricket team’s batting coach, with Anil Kumble as the head coach, but BCCI reminded them that such a provision was not present in their brief. Sourav Ganguly, was not present at the Taj Bengal during the interview of Ravi Shastri. After taking prior permission he went to the Cricket Association of Bengal instead, to attend the state association’s working committee meeting, on June 21.

Ravi Shastri, was the team director till the end of the World T20 gave an interview via video link from Bangkok when the coach selection process was being conducted at a Taj Bengal hotel in Kolkata June 21. Shastri in an interview to TOI said, “All I can say is that Ganguly wasn’t there when I was interviewed and you should ask what problem Ganguly has with me instead of asking me.” During the long selection process, Anil Kumble and Tom Moody were the favourites, yet the committee wanted Ravi Shastri to be the batting coach. 

But BCCI secretary reminded the committee that its manadate was restricted to appointing the head coach of the Indian team, indicating that the head coach will bring his own support staff team. When it was a choice between Tom Moody and Anil Kumble, it became clear after India’s Test captain Kohli gave his vote in favour of the latter.

Kohli had earlier batted for Ravi Shastri to continue in the role. “As long as he (Shastri) wants to continue in that job, it’s going to be beneficial to the team. He has given confidence to everyone in the team; we are a young side, you need someone who has been there and done that. He is someone who has played cricket on his own terms. Played it with a lot of composure, character and belief. When a guy who has done all that talks to you, a young players gets confident. You can believe what he says,” he had said.