Rahul Dravid has informed the BCCI that he will be skipping the selection meeting for the U-19 cricketers on June 16th to avoid any possible controversy over his presence. Although Dravid is willing to coach the U-19 side in the future, he wants more clarity given his contract is yet to be renewed.
Dravid’s two-year contract as U-19 coach ended in March and he felt that he wasn’t authorised to attend the meeting given that his contract hasn’t been renewed yet. “Dravid has informed BCCI that he won’t be attending selection committee meeting as he doesn’t want any controversy. Dravid's contract is yet to be renewed and as he is no longer the coach of India Under 19 team. He said that it will be unfair on his part to attend the meeting without owning the job,” the Indian Express reported a BCCI source as saying.
The former Indian skipper’s decision to skip the meeting comes as a reaction to recent criticism directed against him by Ramchandra Guha.Although Guha did not explicitly name Dravid in the statement in had issued after resigning from the Supreme Court-appointed Committe of Administrators, there is no doubt that he implied the reference.
In his letter which stated as follows: “The BCCI has accorded preferential treatment to some national coaches, by giving them ten-month contracts for national duty, thus allowing them to work as IPL coaches/mentors for the remaining two months. This was done in an adhoc and arbitrary manner; the more famous the former player-turned-coach, the more likely was the BCCI to allow him to draft his own contract that left loopholes that he exploited to dodge the conflict of interest issue.”
Dravid responded to Guha’s letter by saying that he hadn’t bent any existing rules and it was unfair to target him. “By the BCCI’s conflict of interest rules, I was absolutely not under a conflict of interest. If the rules have changed midway through the contract, then I think it is unfair to criticise me for breaking the rules or twisting the rules to suit my convenience.”
The CoA eventually responded to the happenings as its head, Vinod Rai, made it clear that all BCCI contracts would be for two full years, which meant that going forward Dravid will have to give up his role in the IPL if he wants to coach the U-19 or India A team.
As far as the process for the application of the U-19 coach is concerned, the BCCI has decided to replicate the same process it follows to appoint the senior team’s coach and has invited application for the U-19 coach. This also means that, just like Kumble, Dravid too will get a direct entry in the coaching application process. “We would be following the same process followed to select the Indian national team coach for the junior team as well. It was approved by COA in the last meeting and Dravid will get direct entry in the selection process,” informed the BCCI official.