Hindi-speaking coach is desirable, but not mandatory : BCCI

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - BCCI

Hindi-speaking coach is desirable, but not mandatory : BCCI

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Amlan Majumdar

06/02/2016

The BCCI on Wednesday advertised for the national team coach’s position with a seemingly clear preference for Indians. Among the nine-point criteria used to judge the eligibility of the candidate, it is mentioned that “It is desirable to communicate in Hindi and other regional Indian languages."

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) yesterday invited applications for the Team India head coach, a position which has been vacant since Duncan Fletcher’s contract ended after the World Cup in 2015. It has a small catch though, which has triggered speculation that it is primarily looking for an Indian for the job. One of the criteria that will be used to judge eligibility is “communication skills befitting the coach of an International team are mandatory, along with the ability to effectively convey the right messages and must demonstrate proficiency in English. It is desirable to communicate in Hindi and other regional Indian languages." This leaves foreign applicants with some disadvantage.

Talking to the TOI, Board Secretary Ajay Shirke chose to play this factor down. “It is not a compulsion, but desirable. A candidate may get less marks if he doesn't know Hindi, but he may score more points in other areas.”

"We'll be going through an entire process, which will be transparent. A panel, which will include former cricketers with an impeccable record will scrutinize all the applications, and 'grade' the applicants. In the final stage, we (top Board officials) will take a call after consulting these ex-players, to go for which of the best three-four applicants,” Shirke added.

The deadline for applying to the post is June 10, as BCCI President Anurag Thakur had announced earlier.

The BCCI also wants the candidate to have “successfully coached a cricket team of any of the member countries of the ICC, at the first class or at the International level." This leaves Daniel Vettori, heavily preferred by ODI captain Virat Kohli, in a tough situation as the Kiwi has only coached in the IPL and his proficiency in Hindi is also doubtful. Rahul Dravid may also be considered ineligible as his stints with Delhi Daredevils, India A, and U-19 teams do not meet the requirements.

Another criteria is "It is preferred that the candidate should be qualified through a certification assessment program conducted by any of the full member countries and currently possess such a valid certification."

Former team director Ravi Shastri is touted as the frontrunner for the job with Bharat Arun and Lalchand Rajput also set to apply for the job. Bharat has been the team’s bowling coach for the past couple of years. Winning manager of the 2007 World T20 team Rajput has also coached the India ‘A’ team for a number of years.

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