Thatscricket - News - Sunny slams BCCI on Marsh's position

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi: Former Australian Test star Geoff Marsh's appointment as India's cricket consultant came under a cloud on Tuesday after it was opposed by officials and ex-players alike.Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar slammed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for "spending a packet on a consultant for ideas that are not all that revolutionary".Gavaskar's tirade received support from some influential BCCI members at a meeting here on Monday, forcing it's president Dr A C Muthiah to backtrack and defer Marsh's appointment till March."Nothing has been finalised yet with Marsh," said Muthiah, who only last month confirmed that the former Australian coach had been hired as a consultant to restructure India's domestic cricket."We have asked Marsh to prepare a blue-print for improving Indian cricket. He has been told to do this by March. Only then we will take a decision on hiring him."Marsh, who quit as Australian selector last month to take up the Indian offer, reportedly stands to lose almost $ 200,000 a year in fees and perks if his appointment is not ratified by the BCCI.Marsh had earlier been approached to take over as the first foreign coach of the Indian national team, but the BCCI picked New Zealand's John Wright instead when the Australian reportedly demanded an exorbitant fee.Former BCCI president Raj Singh Dungarpur and Muthiah then convinced Marsh to become a consultant, a role previously held briefly by another ex-Australian captain and coach Bob Simpson.Gavaskar, Test cricket's first batsman to reach the 10,000-run mark, said the BCCI should have considered former Indian players before giving the job to Marsh.Gavaskar, who also heads the technical committees of both the BCCI and the International Cricket Council, hinted in his widely-syndicated column that Marsh's appointment was illogical."We are spending a packet on a consultant for ideas that are not all that revolutionary," he wrote."Marsh was ruled out as coach of the Indian team because of his terms, and now with hardly any change in those terms he is a special consultant earning more than coach John Wright."No wonder Marsh resigned as Australian selector to take up this lucrative consultancy for opportunity knocks only once in most lives."Muthiah clarified that "Marsh's appointment is not going to affect Gavaskar's role as the head of BCCI's technical committee".The controversy over Marsh comes three weeks before Steve Waugh's all-conquering Australians land in India for a seven-week tour.Marsh and Wright were expected to play a key role in deciding the home team's strategy against a powerful opponent with 15 consecutive Test wins in the bag.

Copyright AFP 2000

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