Hope I don’t repeat Chappell mistake while selecting India coach: Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly BCCI
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo by Aniruddha Chowhdury/Mint via Getty Images)

It has been eleven years since Sourav Ganguly threw his weight behind Australian legend Gregg Chappell and himself sowed the seeds of one of the biggest controversies in India cricket. Sourav Ganguly, who was the one influential guy with the power to choose John Wright’s successor, accepts that he had made a mistake in 2005.

Ganguly once again has been entrusted with similar responsibility and he hopes to do things “correctly” with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman by his side. The three greats are in the BCCI-appointed four-member committee which also has BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke has the responsibility to pick the new head coach of the national cricket team.


“I once had an opportunity to select the coach. I thought I messed it up in 2005. I’m given that opportunity again. Hopefully, we will do it correctly this time, whoever it is… Luckily, I have got support in Sachin, VVS, the BCCI secretary and president. Together we will pick the right person,” Ganguly said at a book launch programme before he headed to the coach selection meeting.

Chappell’s stint lasted only two years. But those two years saw big controversies in Indian cricket and Ganguly, ironically, was one of its worst sufferers.

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Pravin Amre was the first to appear for the interview and presentation as Sanjay Jagdale (convener), Tendulkar (via Skype), Laxman and Ganguly started the process around 2pm at a south Kolkata hotel. Anil Kumble and Lalchand Rajput were the ones to follow.

Kumble, a former India captain, doesn’t have any previous coaching experience at first-class or international level. Nor is he ‘qualified through a certification/assessment program conducted by any of the Full Member countries’. In fact, the great leg-spinner is said to be one of the frontrunners to get the job as the cricket board aims to take the Indian team to the next level.

Ravi Shastri, who served as India’s team director for 20 months before his contract expired following the team’s exit from the World T20, was believed to be a strong contender as well. Shastri didn’t appear for the interview in person, joining via video linkup instead. Things have become even more interesting with Tom Moody, who most recently took Sunrisers Hyderabad to the IPL title, throwing his hat into the ring.

“We interviewed Amre, Kumble, Rajput in the first session. Shastri interacted via video. And now we look forward to interview some overseas candidates like Tom Moody, Stuart Law and Andy Moles. There are about 10 people in the list and we intend to finish the process and send our recommendation to the BCCI by tonight,” Ganguly said.

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Later, after the marathon coach selection meeting was over, he said: “We have made our choice after interviewing seven aspirants but please don’t ask me the name. We will send it to the BCCI.” The cricket board is likely to make the official announcement following its working committee meeting in Dharamsala on Friday.