Gavaskar's conflicts of interestsWriter and academic Mukul Kesavan, appearing on an NDTV show last week, touched briefly on an important point during the discussion (which was predictably about the selection next Indian cricket team coach). Commenting upon Sunil Gavaskar's alleged dig at Dav Whatmore (refuted today), he asked whether Gavaskar did not recognise a conflict of interests given the various hats he wears: as media-man and as member of the committee to pick the next coach.
This is very true. I find some of Gavaskar's snide comments conflict with his involvement at different levels, as part of these ad-hoc BCCI committees and as part of the ICC Cricket Committee that comes up with more bowler-unfriendly suggestions. How much are the members of the last coach-hunting committee (almost identical to the current one) to blame for the Chappell hiring (given Chappell's not-so great previous coaching resumé), and what lessons have been learnt from that? We'll never know, thanks to the silly BCCI system of honoraria-based short-term tribal elders approach.
For those like Bishen Bedi who muddle the issue of an Indian coach versus someone from outside, consider this: the job, ideally, ought to go to the best candidate available. The best candidate, in turn, should have a track-record reflecting his merit, such as successfully coaching a state side or having shown acumen in an academy job. Compare recent international appointments such as Peter Moore or Tim Nielsen to a Mohinder Amarnath. There aren't any Indian coaches of repute at the moment, as very few of the former players have plunged into coaching with the ambition of making it a full-time profession. Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh are two exceptions to this, which is why their appointment to the Indian team was welcomed. The Bangladesh series wasn't the best in the bowling or fielding departments yet, but here hopefully are two men who have what it takes to improve.
Very soon, we shall know who the next coach is, but it will take a good man to wipe away the dullness that has accumulated on the gilt of the Wright era.