Post the initial scrutiny of 57 applications for the post of head coach of the Indian team, 21 applicants were found to meet the primary criteria specified by the BCCI. The cricket advisory committee which consists of three eminent cricketers, namely Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman in association with Sanjay Jagdale, who will act as chief co-ordinator of this committee for the purpose of the selection of the head coach, will be handed over the 21 eligible applications. The said committee will process and scrutinize all the applications, conduct interviews and seek presentations from candidates as the committee deems fit. The committee will be required to go through the process and on completion, recommend its choice of selection to the president of the BCCI, Anurag Thakur, through the honorary secretary.
The primary operations and activities of the committee will be carried out in the Mumbai office of the BCCI.
As per the reports, Ravi Shastri, whose tenure as Team Director ended in March, and Sandeep Patil, the present chairman of the selection panel, are key contenders for the post. In 2003, Patil had coached the Kenya national side, which made history under him by qualifying for a semifinal of the World Cup for the first time. Former India captain and star bowler, the legendary Anil Kumble has also applied for the head-coach position advertised by the BCCI. Despite Kumble not having coached an international team, his candidature might be looked into by Tendulkar, Ganguly, Laxman and Jagdale as he has coached successfully Mumbai Indians. Speculations are rife that the top contenders are Shastri, Patil and Kumble.
However, the list of 21 contenders also include several domestic coaches, including former India fielding coach Robin Singh, former India bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad, left-handed middle-order batsman of yesteryears Hrishikesh Kanitkar, former India cricket manager Lalchand Rajput, Surendra Bhave and former India-A coach Praveen Amre.
Sachin Tendulkar, who is a key member of this committee, but is out of the country, has confirmed his availability as and when required through the video conference facilities.
The new coach will take charge from the series against the West Indies in July-August. Meanwhile, Sanjay Bangar is the stand-in coach for the current ODI series in Zimbabwe. Importantly, the Indian cricket team is without a head coach after Duncan Fletcher. The BCCI appointed former cricketer Ravi Shastri as the Team Director till the World T20 championship held in India. The Board is expected to make a final announcement after its working committee meeting in Dharamsala on June 24.