Monday, June 11, 2007

Coach Conundrum

Well, it seems all Graham Ford wanted was to visit India for a couple of days and feel needed a bit; and maybe a hug as well. He has turned down the most high profile and risky job in the world of sports - coach of the Indian team!!!

Let's try and examine the possible reasons:

1. It was too hot - Truth be told, this was not exactly the ideal time to be visiting India for an interview. The weather might have convinced him that the cooler climes of Kent were vastly preferable to the boiling boondocks of Bombay.

2. He remembered Woolmer just in time - Maybe someone wanted to gift him a bottle of champagne after he was confirmed. Always a bad idea, especially since the Woolmer champagne incident. He probably began to have visions of being carried out on a subcontinental stretcher!

3. He felt bad for Emburey - As was reported, after being rejected, Emburey drowned his sorrows in drink the the hotel bar. Maybe there they met, and Emburey poured his heart out to Ford. How he needed the job, how his 8 children were going to starve otherwise, how his wife really wanted to get that natural tan in India....Ford is, by all accounts a people person. Maybe he couldn't take the guilt.

4. He saw the Indian team practice - That would demoralize the best of men, watching this team running, fielding, batting, and bowling. Can't blame him for thinking that this job would not only be Herculean, but Sisyphean as well.

5. He saw Dravid captain - That would be a deal breaker for any coach, actually, except for Greg Chappell, who was fine because he got to captain the team by proxy himself. Ford being a back room boy, might have balked at being another Daddy to Dravid.

Okay, so what now? There are a few options that BCCI would be comfortable with. These are given in order of BCCI preference:

Coach Options

Option 1: Get Ravi Shastri to coach through the TV
- This is very viable and Ravi will have no qualms doing that. After all he can run down to the pavilion and coach the team every alternate 30 mins when he is off his commentary time. BCCI already think he's a winner because he was team "manager" during the wildly successful tour of Bangladesh! And Shastri can be counted upon never to let ethics get in the way of a little coaching on the side.

Option 2: Ask Gavaskar to just appoint coach himself
- After all Gavaskar has given his opinion on everything so far. The only thing he will not do is take any responsibility himself. However, before we condemn him for that, we must remember that he has taken tremendous responsibility in criticizing whatever others have been saying or doing.

Option 3: Appoint Mohinder Amarnath coach - What a refreshing change it will be to get back to the halcyon days of cricket - where there were no computers, bowling machines, or technology to intrude on the simple pleasures of playing cricket. Mohinder will show how a team can be coached only with the help of a small Indian flag.

Option 4: Appoint John Emburey as coach - Well, we have rejected Dav Whatmore, and Ford's rejected us. That leaves only one foreigner in the fray - the lucky loser Emburey! With Gavaskar's support (bet even Gavaskar didn't see this one coming), he could well be a great stop gap coach for the next three years. Looked at it one way, he doesn't have much to lose. He can't be worse than Chappell (no one can), and expectations will be rock bottom anyway, so whatever he does will be accepted with equanimity.

Option 5 - Appoint Sandeep Patil coach - Naah, forget it. Scratch that option. He's only coached Kenya to the WC semis, and he's has coaching practice and credentials, but c'mon, a) he's Indian, and b) he's never solicited for the job either to the BCCI or to famous senior players. Who the f*** does he think he is anyway?



It seems Emburey has rejected the position as well. Maybe he wasn't comfortable accepting charity from a fellow Englishman. That kind of reduces our options a bit doesn't it? But no fear. Greatbong has the perfect solution!


Greatbong said...

The problem with American cars like Ford is that they arent reliable. Same here. Seriously though I think they possibly made Ford a lousy offer. Hope Emburey doesnt get the job though. I say Prasad as coach.

Born a Libran said...

The real problem with taking Sandeep Patil as coach is that some of the people in the team were playing when he was the coach the last time around and the whole Navjot Sidhu walking out of tour episode happened. Worse, some of those players were responsible for Sandeep Patil being removed from the coach position for having handled the whole affair badly... Normally, after this many years, you would think they would forget the whole episode... But right now, they have fresh wounds from Chappell... So, it is going to take a person whom they can trust or at least not have a bad history with to be the new coach...

Shan said...


Prasad would be preferable to Emburey any day. IN any case Emnurey isn't interested any more.

@born a libran

You have a point, but Patil still remains the most qualified for the job.

Born a Libran said...

I hear the latest is no coach until England tour which virtually means we will go to the 20 WC without a coach or a coach who will begin right there...

Shan said...

@born a libran:

Well one could argue that 20-20 does not need a coach. All it needs is batsmen who can wield the willow like a baseball bat!

But true, we are coachless for some time now. Maybe this will give Dravid some opportunity to be more assertive/aggressive. Let's see.