India news July 18, 2017

Bharat Arun named India bowling coach, Bangar assistant coach


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I was clear what my core team would be - Shastri

Following a recommendation from India coach Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun has been named the side's bowling coach. The appointment came after a meeting between Shastri and a four-member BCCI committee, where it was also decided that Sanjay Bangar will be the team's assistant coach.

The appointments mean Shastri will work with the same set of coaches - including fielding coach R Sridhar - who assisted him in his earlier tenure as team director. India's support staff have all been given two-year contracts, until the end of the 2019 World Cup. Arun, as a result, will now have to give up his coaching roles in the IPL and the Tamil Nadu Premier League in accordance with the new conflict-of-interest guidelines. Arun, who has been a bowling coach with Royal Challengers Bangalore since 2015, was recently named coach of VB Thiruvallur Veerans in the TNPL.

Shastri also confirmed that Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan will be on board as consultants. "I have spoken to both the individuals as good as three or four days ago," Shastri told reporters after the meeting. "They are fantastic cricketers for India, and their inputs will be invaluable. They will be on board once they have spoken to the authorities concerned, so there are no issues on that."

The committee comprising BCCI CEO Rahul Johri (convener), acting board president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, and Diana Edulji, member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), was created to resolve the ambiguity over the roles of Dravid and Zaheer. While the BCCI's press release on July 11 stated that they were "appointed" overseas Test batting consultant and bowling consultant respectively, CoA chairman Vinod Rai said those were only recommendations that needed action from the CoA "in consultation with the head coach".

When asked if the confusion could have been avoided, Shastri said: "I was in England. I was watching tennis. I was very clear in my mind what my core team will be. What you just heard is my core team." It is understood that Shastri had clearly expressed his preference for Arun, his team-mate from Under-19 and India days, in his meeting with Johri on Monday. Choudhary put up an equally emphatic yet unconvincing defence of how the episode had unfolded.

"In the first place, I am absolutely clear in my view that it was not a fiasco," he said. "As Ravi explained, once he was appointed head coach, he obviously had to think of his responsibilities which come with the appointment. As he has made abundantly clear, he wanted his core team. The other two gentlemen [Dravid and Zaheer] he has spoken to personally, [and] they will be consultants." When asked why the BCCI announced their appointments when it was still only a recommendation, Choudhary said: "I think what I just said answers the question. Nothing more needs to be said".

Sourav Ganguly, a member of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that appointed Shastri, Dravid and Zaheer, was recently quoted as saying that Zaheer was contracted for 150 days a year. To a question on whether the CAC had exceeded its brief, both Choudhary and Shastri sprung to the three-member body's defence. "I don't think this question is relevant at all," Choudhary said. "The CAC has done a fantastic job. I have been witness to this for the last one and a half months".

Shastri thanked the committee comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Ganguly and VVS Laxman for reposing faith in him. "I would like to thank the CAC because it is a privilege and an honour to be the head coach of the Indian cricket team and I would like to thank them for thinking I am worthy enough to do the job," he said on Tuesday.

Australia's Patrick Farhart and Shankar Basu also retained their positions as physio and trainer respectively, for the same two-year period until the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup.

With the BCCI having invited applications for a full-time team manager, there was a question on whether an appointment would be made for the Sri Lanka tour. Despite the team set to leave on July 19, Choudhary said there was "every likelihood" that a manager would be named for the tour.

Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. @scarletrun

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • laksvi5642713 on July 20, 2017, 12:04 GMT

    Think pace bowling first, if we are to consistently win overseas - outside SC conditions-it is pace that will get us through - not Ashwin's over rated offies.....if we manage to improve our pathetic pitches at every level, we def have a good chance, one rare occurance is umesh, bhuvan, shami, et all look a lot improved since their get to see this-not in indian cricket which is replete with pacement digressing in leaps and bounds since their debut....hope arun gets the best out of umesh and co....cheers

  • Shreekanth on July 19, 2017, 15:57 GMT - For people who think international experience is a must for coaches. Its a good read.

  • Cricinfouser on July 19, 2017, 14:30 GMT

    I am bit worried as cricket fan when I heard or seen people straight away pull down B Arun just because he doesn't have Intl record like Dravid and zaheer. Folks, coaches don't need to be good players, its completely different thing and the most successful coach like John Buchanan is not a good player but a great coach..

  • Cricinfouser on July 19, 2017, 14:21 GMT

    Bharat Arun has rich coaching experience infact under him India did well in 2015 WC removing 77 of 80 wickets. Folks, I strongly believe India do well under these guys coaching.

  • goswam6541615 on July 19, 2017, 12:42 GMT

    Don't you think all these fiasco's are distracting us from real issues ? is it a well planned move to take away attention somewhere else, rather than where it should be? if yes, BCCI, dirty but well played ;)

  • Sanjay on July 19, 2017, 12:29 GMT

    The FARCE continues. A real joke and a total lack of governance. This has clearly shown how poor Indian cricket administration is. Nothing that many didn't know already.

  • ram4fr9677970 on July 19, 2017, 11:28 GMT

    I dont want zaheer or dravid to get involved any coaching with Indian Team when big man Shastri as head coach. they will not get respected as like Kumble. better Allow Shastri do what he wants!.. if he not able to produce the result, remove him as earlier and go back to Kumble or new coach. what zak can do if shastri and co selected ishanth.

  • J on July 19, 2017, 10:59 GMT

    To my friend sudhik- I can remember a odi played at Eden gardens between India and south Africa where the Eden gardens crowd supported and cheered for south africa and wanted India to lose the match, only because their beloved ganguly had been dropped for non performance. But you are right in that we should support the right course of action for the long term good.

  • Ash on July 19, 2017, 9:44 GMT

    @sudhik6976471: Tushar might remember few. The greatest is surely the semi final of Reliance Cup 1987 played in Mumbai (don't ask me how what other 2 Mumbaikars, Gavaskar and Vengsarkar, scored in that match??

  • Manesh on July 19, 2017, 9:42 GMT

    It will be a tough task for Ravi Shastri and Co. because some overseas tours are coming for India. If team can do well, Shastri can hold his place for 3-4 years. Otherwise he will be replaced by Dravid and Zak. Not only that, Kohlis leadership too will be under fire. He may lost it or will not get any upper-hand in selection processes.

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