The BCCI appointed Anil Kumble as head coach of the Indian cricket team and in doing so turned down Ravi Shastri, the former team manger who had also applied for the post. Since then, Ravi Shastri has made more news than new coach Anil Kumble as Shastri has found it difficult to take his rejection with grace.
After he was informed that Anil Kumble had been appointed team manager, Shastri came out swinging and targeted ex-captain Saurav Ganguly who was one of the Cricket Advisory Committee members along with VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar and co-ordinator Sanjay Jagdale. Shastri stated that Saurav Ganguly was not present when he was interviewed on Skype by the panel and Shastri found Ganguly’s absence disrespectful.
Shastri who is one of the most respected commentators in the game held nothing back and asked the media to find out what Ganguly’s problem was for missing the meeting. Ganguly was surprised by Shastri’s personal attack but clarified that he missed the meeting because he had already clarified to the BCCI that he had personal and professional commitments during Shastri’s interview time-slot. He re-joined the interview panel and was briefed by his colleagues on Shastri’s presentation.
Ganguly hit back at Shastri by saying that if he was really serious about the head coach role, he should not have been vacationing in Thailand and should have hopped on a plane and attended the interview in person. Shastri is not willing to let sleeping dogs lie but has once again responded to Ganguly’s comments and the media is only too happy to keep the spat alive.
In a statement, Shastri said “I got communication from the BCCI on the 19th (June) that the interview is on the 21st (June). I had left for Thailand on the 15th. No one knew at that time when the interview would be. I was out of the country and the BCCI did give me the option of Skype. Besides, Tom Moody and some other candidates did the interview on Skype. What’s the difference? In this day and age, half the world operates on video-conferencing.”
Sanjay Manjarekar who played with Shastri and often commentates with him also decided to get into the fray and threw his support behind the Bengal tiger. Manjarekar stated that Ravi Shastri is not used to rejection and this was a new experience for him. He also stated that the BCCI had made the correction decision in appointing Kumble as he was the better choice.