From now on... its European football-like system for Team India

Jun 01, 2016, 16:09 IST | Shreeram Gokhale

BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke confirms head coach will be given complete freedom to select support staff; there will be no Team Director with the team in the near future

Pune: It's been quite some time since the BCCI started appointing specialist coaches for every department of the game. And although the trend might continue in the future, things might be set to go the European soccer style soon, if the statement of the recently appointed BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke is anything to go by.

Ajay Shirke
Ajay Shirke

From here on, the support staff of the Indian cricket team would be at the chief coach's discretion, the BCCI's secretary Ajay Shirke has confirmed. The statement, made at a meet the press in Pune yesterday, also confirmed that there will be no Team Director with the team in the near future. "We are going to appoint a chief coach. We don't want to burden him with 'this guy or that guy'. Once the chief coach is appointed, we will ask him who else he wants on board.

"Then we can catch hold of him and ask him about the performance (should the results not go their way)," Shirke added. That's very much how the European soccer league club's work, with the Manager (read chief coach in cricketing terms), taking full responsibility.

The statement also makes it clear that the support staff that was employed till the end of the World T20, including Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun, would be out of a job, unless the new chief coach asks for their services. Bangar was recently appointed as the head coach for a second string Indian side that will tour Zimbabwe in June.

 Ravi Shastri (right) with then India coach Duncan Fletcher during a practice session at Trent Bridge, England in 2014. Pic/Getty Images
Ravi Shastri (right) with then India coach Duncan Fletcher during a practice session at Trent Bridge, England in 2014. Pic/Getty Images

'No decision about conducting a mini-IPL'
Shirke also clarified that there has been no decision about conducting a mini-IPL in September. "I am not aware of any such development," he said. The Board's technical committee has recommended that Ranji Trophy matches be conducted at neutral venues. And while reminding that it's just a recommendation at this stage, the BCCI secretary clarified the logic behind the decision.

"The meeting, headed by Sourav Ganguly, lasted for over two and half hours. Various other options, including the visiting team making the choice of whether to bat first, were discussed. Eventually it was felt that playing games at neutral venues was the best available option.

"It takes away the 'home crowd' part, but then every option had a negative side to it. There is no clear solution to the problem of home teams preparing favourable tracks, which can satisfy everyone." Shirke added that the BCCI will identify tracks that are recognised as sporting, and the Ranji games will be played at those venues.

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