CAC decision on Dravid likely soon

Cricket




India reached the final of the Under-19 World Cup last year © PTI

The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) consisting of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman is likely to make a decision on whether or not to extend Rahul Dravid’s contract as the coach of India’s Under-19 and ‘A’ teams in the next few days. According to a BCCI official, there will be no need to invite fresh applications for the job if the CAC decides to renew Dravid’s two-year contract that ended in March.

This is different to the protocol BCCI has followed in appointing a head coach of the senior team, where interested and qualified candidates were invited to apply even as Anil Kumble, the incumbent, was handed a direct entry. The different approach in Dravid’s case, the official said, is because his contract had an extension clause.

“Dravid has a clause in the contract which facilitates extension by mutual consent,” the official told ESPNcricinfo. “If Rahul doesn’t want to renew his contract, then you have to pick someone else. But, if the CAC likes to retain him and if he is also willing, then you don’t have to call outside applications. But, that’s [going to be] a CAC decision.”

The official felt the CAC would be predisposed to extending Dravid’s contract in a “day or two” given his good track record. Under Dravid, the India Under-19 team made the final of the junior World Cup last year and won a series against England recently. Dravid has also tasted considerable success with the India A team.

“It is not that hard for CAC to take a decision on Dravid,” the official said. “Given his performance and his stature, I don’t think the CAC will have any problem with Rahul continuing as coach. So you don’t have to interview any other candidate.

“The negotiations of the contractual terms might take a bit longer. I don’t know whether the BCCI has formulated the contract: how much he gets paid, I don’t think all that has been finalised.”

Under the BCCI’s current arrangement, coaches and support staff of India’s senior and junior teams are given a ten-month contract that runs till the end of March. They are also free to sign a two-month deal in the IPL. However, according to the official, Dravid’s terms of reference – should he receive a new contract – would have to conform to the recommendations of the Lodha Committee.

“It will mean that he won’t be able to coach both the national team and mentor the Delhi Daredevils franchise,” the official said. “He won’t get a 10-month contract. It will be a minimum two-year contract of 12 months each, but it will be a continuous one with no break.”

Last week, Dravid had asserted that he wasn’t in a conflict of interest under the prevailing regulations, and called for greater clarity in the event of change in rules. He was recently invited by the BCCI to a meeting of the junior selection committee to pick the India Under-19 side to tour England. But Dravid declined because he didn’t have a coaching contract. The official, however, defended the board’s decision to invite him.

“There is nothing that prevents him from being invited because he is not going to make the decision. He will only be asked to give his input,” he said. “Look, at the end of the day, he’s a senior member associated with a junior team. It has to be looked at holistically and not in isolation.

“He has done a good job and I am pretty sure the CAC has no reason for them to say he shouldn’t be extended. So, in those circumstances, why not invite him when the team is being picked?”

Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. @scarletrun


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