In a new twist to the ongoing saga of India's coach hunt, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has intsructed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to close the selection process and announce Team India's new head coach by Tuesday evening.
According to reports, CoA chairman Vinod Rai spoke to BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and CEO Rahul Johri and asked them not to dilly-dally in naming the coach.
Suspense has continued over India's next coach with the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) on Monday deciding to put the appointment on hold while sending a pointed message to skipper Virat Kohli to understand "how coaches operate".
Speaking on behalf of the three-member CAC, former captain Sourav Ganguly made it clear that the panel was not in a hurry and made it clear that Kohli will need to understand the nuances associated with professional coaching.
"We need a few more days and need to talk to a few more people, especially the captain and then make an announcement because we feel that there is no hurry at the moment... the Sri Lankan tour coming in a week's time and the board will probably continue with the same set for the time being. We want to speak to Virat Kohli once he is back from America," Ganguly said.
"Virat will need to understand how coaches operate. At the same time, you have to give credit to Virat that he has stayed out of the coach selection process. We will have a detailed chat with him once he is back from the West Indies," Ganguly, flanked by committee member VVS Laxman and joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary, told media persons in Mumbai.
Ganguly's message was an indicator that the CAC has taken a grave note of the situation after the infamous Kohli-Anil Kumble fallout leading to the latter's departure.
Five candidates, namely Ravi Shastri, Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Lalchand Rajput were interviewed with Sehwag being the only one physically present at the BCCI Headquarters.
Ganguly and Laxman were joined by Sachin Tendulkar via Skype and the former skipper said that the process is complete.
Ganguly informed that West Indian Phil Simmons did not make himself available for the interview.
However, the decision to withhold the appointment is a clear indication that Ravi Shastri is no longer a runaway favourite for the top job as has been the popular perception.
Sehwag's interview went on for two hours.
Reiterating the policy of the BCCI, Ganguly stated that the appointment will be made keeping in mind the 2019 World Cup.
"Once we make this announcement, it has to be till the World Cup (2019)," said Ganguly.
Ganguly said that the presentations given by coaches on their roadmap for Indian cricket were no different from what they saw last year.
"From what we have heard from the coaches, it is not different from last year. We will take a call in the due course of time. We are not in a hurry. Sri Lanka is a long tour. We want to make sure that everybody is in synchronization.
"It's not me, Sachin, Amitabh ji (Chaudhary) or Rahul (Johri), who will play. It is the players who will be playing and the support staff will be there. Everybody should be in synchronization," Ganguly said in a matter-of-fact manner.
He, however, made it clear that Kohli remains an important cog in the decision-making process.
"Virat is an important cog in the system and we will take a call which would be the best way forward for the team and the boys because they are going to play," he said.