India may appoint full time coach after World T20: BCCI secretary

New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is contemplating appointing a full time national side’s head coach after hosting the World Twenty20 tournament, secretary Anurag Thakur said here on Monday.

The team is currently marshalled by team director Ravi Shastri, who took over after Zimbabwean Duncan Fletcher’s contract wasn’t renewed following India’s semi-final loss in the One-Day World Cup early in 2015. Shastri has been reluctant to take on the role on a permanent, long-term basis and only agreed to take charge for a short duration.

India will be hosting the World Twenty20 tournament from March 8 to April 3.

“The decision to appoint a full time coach will be taken by the cricket advisory committee soon. We don’t want to discuss about it mid-season. A decision will be taken after the World T20,” Thakur said on the sidelines of an International Cricket Council’s (ICC) cleanliness programme in association with Unicef and BCCI.

“Ravi Shastri, the team director, will be at the helm till the World T20. A decision as to who will be in charge of the team will be taken after that.”

Thakur also said that BCCI has given time till January 31 to its state associations to convene a Special General Committee (SGM) meeting to discuss the recommendations of the Justice Lodha Committee in its report.

He said all the associations have been told to express their opinions on how the suggested reforms would affect its functioning. Their view points will be discussed and taken into consideration by BCCI in its Annual General Meeting (AGM).

“BCCI has requested all its state associations to look into the details of the Lodha committees recommendations, deliberate on it and come out with its view points on a SGM. Then BCCI will discuss about it in its AGM,” Thakur said.

Thakur also expressed concern about the Indian team’s poor performance in losing the ongoing One-Day series in Australia, particularly of the bowling unit, and said the team think-tank and the selectors will discuss it to avoid another such performance.

“India’s defeat in three matches was unfortunate — bowling has not been upto the mark. The team management and the selectors will discuss it to avoid such a performance in the upcoming Asia Cup and World Twenty20,” he said.

The board secretary also expressed faith in under-pressure skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying it was under his guidance that the team won two World Cups (World T20 in 2007 and One-Day World Cup in 2011) and reached the top of Test team rankings.

“Dhoni is one of the most successful Indian captains ever. It is unfortunate that we have lost three matches. And bowling has been weak so we lost despite posting strong totals. It is a concern. BCCI and selectors will discuss it,” he said.

“It is not fair to raise questions on Dhoni looking at the performance of one series only.”

India’s loss in the first three One-Days of the five match series in Australia has been partly blamed on BCCI’s continued reluctance to use the Decision Review System (DRS) to judge crucial on-field decisions. But Thakur reiterated BCCI’s stance saying DRS is not “100 percent error-free” and has scope for improvement before its acceptance.

Thakur also said ICC’s packed Future Tour Programme (FTP) calendar for this year leaves very little scope for an India-Pakistan series to take place.

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