In a clear snub to the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), newly appointed India coach Ravi Shastri seems to have managed to convince the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Advisors (CoA) to take Bharat Arun on board as bowling coach. The CAC, comprising former India captains Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar along with former batsman V.V.S. Laxman, had suggested Zaheer Khan as bowling consultant and Rahul Dravid as overseas batting consultant for the India team.
"The CoA has decided to grant Shastri his wish as it is no secret that the head coach will have to work with the bowling coach on a full-time basis and there should be clear communication and understanding between the two individuals.
"The Cricket Advisory Committee's decision to appoint Zaheer Khan as the bowling consultant (overseas) stands and a call on that will be taken after the new four-member panel of the BCCI meets and decides on matters of appointment and the financial details," a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by CricketNext on Sunday.
Zaheer was the preferred choice of Ganguly, who reportedly does not see eye-to-eye with Shastri on several issues. If the CoA does grant Shastri his wish, it will be a clear snub to the CAC, particularly to Ganguly.
The controversy over the appointment of Dravid and Zaheer had taken a new turn on Saturday with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) forming a four-member committee to take a call on the assistant coaches for the national team.
The constitution of the committee, which will comprise BCCI acting President C.K. Khanna, BCCI acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary, Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji and board CEO Rahul Johri as the convenor, virtually signals that the decision to appoint Dravid and Zaheer could be revisited.
However, Shastri is ready to work with Zaheer when the requirement arises. Zaheer was reportedly not ready to take on the responsibilities of a full time bowling coach and Ganguly had clarified last Friday that the former India pacer was to be offered a contract of 150 days per year.
"Shastri too has said that he will be more than happy to have the likes of Zaheer come over and share his inputs with the boys as per requirement. It is no case of one man's word against the other. Zaheer wasn't ready for a full-time job and Shastri wanted a full-time bowling coach. Thus, this arrangement," the BCCI official said.
"Shastri has made it clear that Zaheer can spearhead the unit, but he needs someone like Arun to be around the team and see that what Zaheer suggests is implemented. Shastri is set to meet the Committee of Administrators on Monday and he will put forward his request," he added.
Arun had earlier served as the national team's bowling coach during Shastri's stint as India team director during 2014-16.
He departed the national team set-up along with Shastri last year when former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble was appointed as the head coach.
If his appointment is finalised, Arun's first assignment during his second stint as India bowling coach will be the tour of Sri Lanka which begins on July 26.