Anshuman Gaekwad: Experience matters more than age in Team India's staff selection
Former coach Anshuman Gaekwad says age doesn't matter more than experience in Team India's support staff selection; Sairaj Bahutule concurs
Former Test opener Anshuman Gaekwad welcomed BCCI's criteria (30 Tests or 50 ODIs for head coach and 10 Tests or 30 ODIs for support staff) to be part of Team India's coaching staff. However, the ex-national coach and selector felt the age restriction of 60 is unfair.
Gaekwad was part of the ad-hoc panel which picked WV Raman as the women's coach with Kapil Dev and Shantha Rangaswamy being the other members.
"As long as they [head coach and support staff] are fit, age doesn't matter. The older you are, the more experience you have and experience is very handy. As long as a coach is fit and delivers, there is no problem. Just like MS Dhoni — as long as he is delivering and not being a liability to the team — it is fine," Gaekwad told mid-day over the phone from Baroda yesterday.
Experienced hands needed
"The Indian team have a lot of youngsters now, so need experienced hands in the system," said Gaekwad, who represented the country in 40 Tests and 15 ODIs.
Gaekwad, 66, agreed to the condition with regards to the number of matches the head coach and support staff candidates should have played: "I agree with the BCCI for the simple reason that the coach should know exactly what a player goes through at the international level — the pressure, approach, temperament…everything! Unless you have experienced it yourself, you will not know those things. This is not something you can read and do."
Meanwhile, former India leg-spinner Sairaj Bahutule, who coached the Bengal Ranji Trophy team for the last three seasons before being named Gujarat Ranji team's coach recently, wants the age limit to be slightly higher than 60.
Age could be pushed to 65
"If the person is fit mentally and physically okay to do the job then I think you can push a little bit more — say 65 — but not more than that. That said, you have to respect BCCI decisions and policies," Bahutule, 46, said.
However, Bahutule felt the number of international matches a coach should have to his record, is debatable.
"What is important is coaching experience. What you played is not important. Eventfully, we want coaches. Yes, playing experience does count, but I feel coaching is a different.
"You should look at coaching experience — who he coached, where he coached, the results he has delivered — and his rapport with players," said Bahutule, who figured in two Tests and eight ODIs.
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