Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday said as the leader of the team Virat Kohli has got every right to voice his opinion in the coach selection process.
In his first media interaction after India’s World Cup semifinal exit, Kohli backed Ravi Shastri to continue as India head coach after his extended tenure ends with the tour of the West Indies beginning later this week.
“He is the captain. He has got every right to say,” Ganguly said, referring to Kohli’s comment at the pre-departure media interaction in Mumbai on Monday.
Ganguly was part of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) which picked Shastri as the head coach in 2017. The other members were Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.
This time, the CAC comprising of Kapil Dev, Anushuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy will pick the coach. The application deadline ended on Tuesday and incumbent Shastri gets an automatic entry in the selection process.
The Kapil-led committee had also picked the Indian women’s coach, W V Raman, in December.
Gaekwad had earlier in the day however said they would not be prejudiced in appointing the new coach.
“There’s no question of what Kohli says or anybody says,” Gaekwad had told PTI, pointing out that the same committee did not consult anyone while appointing WV Raman as India women’s coach last year despite a lot of controversy.
“If you remember the appointment of women’s coach, there was a lot of controversy. But we didn’t take anyone’s opinion,” the former India batsman and coach said.
“See, whatever (Virat) Kohli or (Ravi) Shastri may say, we have to adhere to BCCI. He was asked about his preference (at the press conference) and Kohli gave his preference for Ravi Shastri. We have nothing to do with that. We are neutral and we would go with an open mind,” the 66-year-old said.
Ganguly however refused to comment on Gaekwad’s statements: “Every individual is different so I cannot comment.”
Ganguly also spoke about the eight-month suspension handed to talented opener Prithvi Shaw for failing a dope test after the 19-year-old “inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups”.
“A cough syrup can have different compositions. I don’t know what exactly happened with Prithvi Shaw... I am not sure what exactly is the truth. It won’t be right for me to comment now.”
The brand ambassador of the U-19 football league conducted by the Indian Football Association, Ganguly further rued the final between arch-rivals Mohun Bagan and East Bengal on June 23 had been abandoned because of crowd violence and both teams were adjudged “joint winners”.
“I hope the match had a result as people come to watch a great spectacle at the end of the day. The match was abandoned. IFA took the decision so you have to abide by that. I hope the final would have ended,” he said while giving joint winners trophy to both the teams.