Chappell, Moody frontrunners for India coach job

Published: Thursday, May 12, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:The appointment of a new coach for the Indian cricket team has become a two horse race, with the BCCI's six-member committee narrowing down its choice to the two foreigners -- Greg Chappell and Tom Moody.

"Finally it will be a toss up between Chappell and Moody," a Cricket Board source said today.

The coach's post became vacant after New Zealand's John Wright stepped down after a four-year tenure at the end of the series against Pakistan.

The BCCI has formed a committee comprising President Ranbir Singh Mahendra, former president Jagmohan Dalmiya, secretary SK Nair and former captains S Venkataraghavan, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri to find a successor to Wright.

Former India Test players Mohinder Amarnath and Sandeep Patil, who had been a national coach earlier, are the other two names shortlisted by the committee.

Board sources said that while skipper Sourav Ganguly favoured Chappell, two other senior members of the team, vice-captain Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble, preferred Moody.

They also pointed out that the Board might not be able pay the same huge amount as salary to the coach if an Indian were to be picked.

As per the contract between the BCCI and Wright, the former New Zealand captain was paid USD 175,000 (approximately Rs.78,77,000) per year. He was also given business class air fare from New Zealand to India thrice a year.

Besides this, Wright was paid Rs 2,000 per day during his stay in India and boarding and lodging was met by BCCI. The TDS for payment of all these at 33 per cent was also met by the Board.

Also, according to the Internal Auditor of the BCCI, the Board will necessarily spend money in foreign exchange because the legal battle going on in a Kolkata court against the Income Tax department's ruling that only 20 per cent of its revenue could be exempted from tax.

Since 1996, the Board's tax have not been assessed by the Department. In 2002, the Board applied to the Apellate Tribunal.

Another source said that during the committee's first meeting in Kolkata on Sunday, each of the five members were asked to give their opinion on the applications received.

It was decided to call the four shortlisted candidates (two foreigners and two Indians) with the final decision to be taken -- only after the interview and the candidate's presentation -- through voting by the five. Nair, being the convenor of the meeting, has no vote.

It was also revealed that Gavaskar insisted with the Board that they should invite former Indian players also. Thus, the Board received the applications from Amarnath and Patil.

The meeting also took note of Amarnath's outburst in 1989-90 after he was dropped from the team. Amarnath had then termed the selectors and the Board Secretary (Mahendra) as a "bunch of jokers".

The members also discussed the issue of Patil who could not pacify Navjot Singh Sidhu during the 1996 tour of England. Sidhu returned midway through the tour following a row with captain Mohammad Azharuddin.

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