What's the story?
Former India fielding coach Robin Singh has backed Ravi Shastri's opinion of allowing the head coach of a team to pick consultants of his choice. The incumbent India coach had stirred a controversy when he'd expressed his desire to pick the support staff of his choice, as it was viewed in contravention to the BCCI's decision of appointing Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan as batting consultant (overseas tours) and bowling coach, respectively.
Singh, the 53-year-old former all-rounder said that if he was the coach of the side, he would prefer to have support staff he's 'comfortable with.'
"Let me put it like this. I like to work with people who I know. I don't like to work with people who I don't know. It's really a comfort level that you need to have. You have to work with people with whom you have an understanding and who you think can execute," Singh told mid-day.
Emphasizing that this is sort of an arrangement isn't limited to just cricket, Singh said, "You can ask anyone around - whether it's cricket or a company.
"The CEO or the management want their own people. I don't think there is a controversy. Everyone makes it a controversy. At the end of the day, if I'm the coach, I would want people who I'm comfortable with. It's as simple as that."
In case you didn't know...
Ravi Shastri was appointed the head coach of India's senior men's team on July 11, and at the time, Dravid and Khan were named as his consultants.
However, on Saturday, the chairman of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) -- appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the day-to-day operations of the BCCI until such time a new constitution is adopted -- Vinod Rai, nullified those appointments by stating that Dravid and Khan's names were mere recommendations made by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) -- tasked by the BCCI to pick the head coach, amongst other responsibilities -- to the CoA.
This U-turn taken by the board, especially against two of best cricketers that India have produced, has drawn flak from all corners with the former CoA member, Ramchandra Guha, having gone to the extent of saying that Dravid and Khan were insulted by the BCCI.
It had been reported earlier that Shastri wanted Bharat Arun, the former India bowling coach, to return in the same capacity, and not the CAC's choice -- Khan.
On being asked whether the head coach and the consultants were selected in a proper manner, Singh declined to make a comment.
He also refrained from commenting on the strained relationship between India captain Virat Kohli and the former coach Anil Kumble mentioning that he wasn't in the know of what had happened.
The appointment of Shastri as the head coach was also mired in controversies when reports emerged that Shastri was the first-pick choice of Sachin Tendulkar, a CAC member, while Sourav Ganguly, the other member of the committee, wasn't in agreement with the choice.
Rai also said that a five-member committee would be formed to decide the financial terms of the support staff, which would be headed by the CEO of the board, Rahul Johri.
Singh's opinions do make sense, as do Shastri's, but the question to be asked here was why and how were the aforementioned consultants appointed without taking the head coach into confidence?
The various stakeholders involved look do not look to be communicating effectively with each other, as was obvious when the CAC wrote a letter to the CoA expressing its disappointment at the manner in which it was being targetted by the media only for what it believed was the job assigned to it.
The CAC appoints the support staff, Shastri demands his own support staff the following day, and three days later, the CoA steps in and states that the appointments weren't made in the first place and that the head coach would be consulted before naming the consultants.
Why were Dravid and Khan appointed if Shastri wasn't comfortable with them if at all the 'process' of taking the coach into confidence isn't as farcical as the entire coach-selection saga has appeared to be?