Speculation rages over Ganguly’s role as Team India coach

MUMBAI (TIP): Will another chapter be added to the famous Sourav Ganguly story? Over the past couple of days, there has been intense speculation that the ‘Prince of Kolkata,’ who led India with much success, could be the team’s next coach.

Reports have said that the charismatic former India skipper has expressed interest in the job left vacant by Duncan Fletcher, whose term ended after the World Cup. Some even said that Ganguly had meet Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya in this regard.

On Thursday, Ganguly vehemently denied that he was in the fray. “I am hearing this for the first time. I don’t want to say anything on this. Let’s not speculate. Don’t jump the gun,” he said.

He also denied speaking to Dalmiya about it. “No, who says all this? They (BCCI) haven’t spoken to anyone and neither have I spoken to them. That’s the truth and let’s stick to that. I meet him (Dalmiya) every day because he is the president of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and I am the joint secretary of CAB,” he clarified.

Interestingly, Ganguly also said that both he and Dravid had the skills to do the job. “Both can be (good coaches). Rahul was a great player,” he said.

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Curiously, Dalmiya, a known backer of Ganguly, didn’t deny the possibility completely. “It may happen. It is not ruled out. Till now, there is nothing on this. Who knows what will happen in the future? Let’s wait for the decision.

We won’t hide anything from the media,” the wily 74-year-old said.

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur admitted that he and Dalmiya have had intense discussions in this regard and had sought the views of all the ‘stakeholders involved’.

“Dalmiya and I will be speaking to senior board members and the senior players. We also sought the captain’s view and we can assure that the best “Dalmiya and I will be speaking to senior board members and the senior players. We also sought the captain’s view and we can assure that the best man available for the job will be appointed,” Thakur said.

Sources said that Ganguly is more keen on the job of the team director, a position which was occupied by former India all-rounder-turned-commentator Ravi Shastri till the World Cup.

However, it has also emerged that Shastri himself wants to continue in his new role. Apparently, the players are comfortable with Shastri’s working style.

A master on technique, Dravid also enjoys the confidence of the ‘boys’ and had a healthy time with the team during his short stint as the batting consultant in England before the Test series last year.

He has also been a ‘mentor’ of the Rajasthan Royals for the past couple of seasons -a role which he has performed successfully. The only glitch is that Dravid himself has expressed his inability to be with the team for long periods.

In the mix are Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar, who have assisted Shastri in his Team India job for the past few months. The positive role of the trio has been appreciated by everybody .

The question is, if the board goes for a desi coach instead of a foreigner, will it be a superstar or a less popular but effective man?

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