Sandeep Patil, the chief selector of the Indian national team decided to thrown in his application for the position of head coach. There had been reports in the local media that Patil had been urged by certain parties to apply for the post but Patil has been quick to deny these rumours.
Patil who played 29 tests during his career has coached India before albeit for a short period of time. He was head coach during 1996 but his tenure lasted for just six months as his performance was considered not up to par. This time around his contract as a chief selector expires in September which is why he wants to pursue the role of a head coach.
In a statement, Patil said “I am passionate about coaching. When I retired from cricket, I coached Madhya Pradesh, India Under-19, India ‘A’ and then India. I also had stints with Kenya and Oman which were very satisfying. I have something more to offer in terms of coaching. I have always felt my coaching career was half done and what better than to do it for my country”.
Patil brings with him a wealth of experience both as a player and coach. He has spent the last four years as the chief selector of the India team and over 20 years as the director of the National Cricket Academy.
Venkatesh Prasad, an ex-medium pacer also sent in his application for head coach and bowling coach. He made it clear that his preference was for the head coach role, failing which he would like to be considered for the role of the bowling coach. Prasad has already filled the bowling coach role between 2007 to 2009 before being dropped. He then took up a similar role with the Chennai Super Kings, IPL franchise.
The role of the head coach has generally been filled by overseas coaches during the last decade and a half. However one of the points highlighted by the BCCI this time around on the job description was the fact that it was desirable if the coach could speak in Hindi or one of the local languages to communicate with the players.
This would be very difficult for an overseas coach and this statement could be one of the reasons why there has been a surge of applicants from within the country as the likes of Vikram Rathore, Lalchan Rajput, Ravi Shastri and Bharat Arun who have all thrown their hats into the ring.