New Delhi: Former India cricketers today hailed the BCCI's decision to appoint retired greats Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly in its cricket advisory committee, terming it a "step in the right direction."
Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman were today inducted into the BCCI's newly-constituted cricket advisory committee to guide the Board and the national team on various "progressive steps" needed for future challenges.
Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar
Legendary spinner Erapalli Prasanna called it a "good idea" and also urged the panel to work its way to unearth talented spin bowlers who will be serving the country for long time.
"The idea is good. They have a huge responsibility at hand. I am a keen follower of Indian cricket and what I find is a tremendous shortage of effective spin bowlers in the country. Our team can't do well if the bowling attack doesn't have good spinners. I expect the 'Big Three' look into this aspect," Prasanna told PTI.
The master off-spinner also wants age-group cricketers to interact with the trio on a regular basis. Laxman is already associated with Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB)'s 'Vision 2020' Project where he guides talented youngsters from the eastern state from time to time.
"Another thing I would want them to do is share their experiences with cricketers at all levels, starting from grassroot. They have to take Indian cricket forward," said Prasanna.
Prasanna's teammate and 1983 World Cup winning wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani said: "I'm really glad that they have been inducted into the advisory committee. It's a move in the right direction." But at the same time he raised a question on why BCCI was overlooking cricketers of his era who are eager to still contribute something to the game.
"No doubt, the BCCI is the best sporting body in the world and they're looking after their former cricketers like no other association. There're no two ways about it. But why are the veteran cricketers of my era like Mohinder Amarnath, who have taught and inspired these recently-retired cricketers, are forgotten? That's my only question," Kirmani seemed a trifle upset with the board for overlooking cricketers from 70's and 80's.
Citing the example of Anil Kumble, he said: "Kumble made his debut when I was the captain. I was the KSCA director for six years but it hurts that I've not been given any role at the NCA which is next door."
Kirmani, however, was hopeful that the BCCI would open the doors for some the former cricketers of his era in future. "I am still hopeful and ready to serve the game, may be as a mentor to the age group cricketers."
Another former India wicketkeeper Kiran More also hailed the move and said: "It's an excellent idea as they have played together and have enough experience. Things are going in the right direction for the Indian cricket." Former Left-arm spinner Venkatapathy Raju, who has infact played for India alongside all three, feels that these players can boost the morale of the youngsters.
"Yes, I think it's a step in the right direction. The experience of these guys is invaluable. They have been there in the thick of things and it's wonderful to have their experience and it will certainly help the cause of Indian cricket," said Raju.
According to Raju, the induction of 'Big Three' will make the role of players more important in coming days. "There has been a change in cricket set up since the 90s era. In the days of Sunil Gavaskar, teams had managers and players were assigned definite roles. Now things have changed.
So the coach's role is important but his role becomes more managerial. And when you have veteran players like Sachin, Sourav and VVS around then it certainly is a big boost for the players."