The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) today shot a letter to COA chief Vinod Rai, expressing "pain" at the perception that appointments of Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan were forced upon head coach Ravi Shastri. The Committee of Administrator (CoA) has reportedly given the impression that CAC has gone beyond its brief in appointing Dravid and Zaheer as consultants when they were to select only the head coach.
"We spoke to Mr Shastri about getting Mr Khan and Mr Dravid on board in these capacities, and he readily agreed to the idea of having them in the set-up so that it would benefit the team and Indian cricket as a whole in time to come. It was only after getting Mr Shastri's consent that we also recommended Mr Khan and Mr Dravid, in their respective capacities," the letter, a copy of which is with PTI, read.
The legendary trio reminded Rai of an e-mail where he had apparently given them a free hand in picking the coach of the Indian cricket team.
"There have been suggestions that the CAC has exceeded its ambit in going with MR Khan and Mr Dravid and these two legends of Indian cricket has been foisted on the head coach.
Also, we did inform you (Rai) over the phone along with Rahul Johri and Amitabh Choudhary of all that transpired immediately after the meeting was over."
In the beginning of the letter, the CAC expressed its anguish.
"You will be aware that we put our heart and soul into the process, approaching a task made delicate by the recent developments with a clear head and with soul aim of providing Indian team with best resources possible to become world beaters they are capable of being.
"It has both pained and disappointed us, therefore, to see the light in which the CAC has been portrayed in various sections of the media," the letter read.
That the legends were deeply hurt was palpable where they urged Rai to "come public" with the transparency of the system.
"It is our desire that you come public about the transparency of the process of identifying the next head coach so that the falsehoods are put to bed."
Their anger and disgust came out while concluding the letter.
"As we have outlined, that (forcing Zaheer and Dravid on Shastri) is not the case, it is imperative that the cricket- loving public at large is made aware of the reality. We could do it ourselves, of course, but we don't want to further queer the pitch. So we would respectfully request you to clear the air and set the record straight in this regard," the penultimate paragraph read.
They concluded with another strongly worded paragraph.
"The three of us played our cricket with great integrity, and we have brought that same trait in fulfilling this important responsibility bestowed upon us by the BCCI. While we are not looking for plaudits, we do not appreciate the tone and the falsehoods of the narratives."