Refusing to let the India coach controversy die down, Ravi Shastri yesterday accused Sourav Ganguly of being disrespectful to him and the process by being absent for his interview. But Shastri added that he is no longer disappointed with the event and hoped Anil Kumble would take the team forward.
The controversy stems from the incident at the coach selection process that took place at the Taj Bengal in Kolkata last week. While Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, and Sourav Ganguly were part of the interviewing committee, Ganguly was not present at Shastri's interview. Ganguly, who is also the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), had clarified that CAB’s working committee meeting was held at the same time and that he attended the meeting between 5 and 6pm before re-joining the Cricket Advisory Committee at 6.30pm.
But Shastri has taken particular offence to his absence what with the duo having never looked eye-to-eye.
When asked about the event, Shastri said, "Not miffed at all. I am just disappointed. Nothing surprises me in cricket. It's nothing to do with Sourav, but I am disappointed because that person was disrespectful of the candidate who was going to be interviewed and disrespectful of the job he was entrusted to do," reported IANS.
The ex-India team director also had words of wisdom for Ganguly on how to handle such situations. "Next time, be present in a meeting, especially when it is as important as this one," he said.
Shastri, however, refused to be drawn into the merits and demerits of the selection process and said, "I had a job to do which was to apply for the job and appear for the interview. I don't have to say anything about the process," reported IANS.
It is understandable that the former Indian batsman is disappointed at the slight after having narrowly missed, arguably, the most coveted job in world cricket. It is also curious as to why Sourav Ganguly “missed” the interview when he could have postponed the CAB meeting as the President of the Board. One can only surmise that 'Dada' did not want to let his personal relations with Shastri cloud the interview and hence absented himself from the room. However, only Ganguly would be able to clear the air around this controversy.
Shastri, meanwhile, appeared to have started the process of moving on from the heartbreak. He concluded wishing India coach Anil Kumble the best and said, "But Anil (Kumble) is one of our greatest cricketers and the ball is in his court. He has got a great team that he can take forward."