Dravid best bet to lead India: Shah

Published: Tuesday, April 3, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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When the entire nation is talking to change the Rahul Dravid and Greg Chappell from the helm of affairs, The BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah came to the rescue of the Indian captain Rahul Dravid. Even as the stage is set for the Working Committee meeting on Apr 6th and 7th, Shah's statement that Dravid should be retained as captain has opened the discussion again on the cricketing firmament. Niranjan Shah in an exclusive interview with thatscricket.com spoke on various issues of Indian cricket- contract renewals of the players, coach, captaincy et al.

Q: You came out with the statement that Rahul Dravid should be made captain again?
NS: Yes I have said so but this is purely my personal opinion and I have said this not as a BCCI secretary and I think he should retain his post.

Q: Do you think he led the side well in the World Cup?
NS: World Cup is a past thing now and I would not like to say how Dravid has led the side in West Indies but in the present context, Dravid is the right man to lead the side.

Q: Will he be leading the side when India tour Bangladesh next month?
NS: I didn't say so. And that is altogether a different thing. I can be the part of the selection committee meeting as the convener but it is selectors who will call the shots.

Q: What about Greg Chappell? Whether he will be retained as coach?
NS: Well, I can't comment on that. The final decision will be taken in the Working Committee meeting, which will take place on the Apr 6th and 7th.

Q: But Chappell has expressed his desire to continue as a coach?
NS: Well, I would not say anything on Chappell's retention and that will be decided in the board meeting.

Q: Going by the reports in media, BCCI is contemplating on having an Indian coach?
NS: We haven't decided anything on that.

Q:But lots of names are cropping up in the media like Sandeep Patil, Madan Lal, Mohinder Amarnath and even Aunshuman gaekwad?
NS: Yah, that's true. One can add more if one wishes. But nothing has been decided so far.

Q: As per the sources in BCCI, the board may zero in on Sunil Gavaskar for the most coveted job in Indian cricket?
NS: BCCI has absolutely no idea about any name so far. Sunil is a respected and revered name in Indian cricket. However the board, so far have no ideas what so ever . We are not sure whether to stick with Chappell or hire the services of some foreign coaches or go for the local Indian coaches. This issue will be sorted out only in board meeting.

Q: Certain sections of the media claim that the reports of Greg Chappell and Jagdale were made public?
NS: This is rubbish. There is absolutely no leakage of the reports. Chappell and Jagdale, the manager, will submit their reports in the BCCI meet on Apr 6th.

Q: One report suggested that seniors players like Sachin, Ganguly and others didn't support much and their behaviour too was not good.
NS: I have no information regarding such things and I do not think that the seniors will behave badly.

Q: Can you throw some light on renewal of players' contract?
NS: Well, players' contract is almost ready and this issue is likely to be finalised in the Working Committee meeting as well.

Q: is this contract would be different the earlier one?
NS: First and foremost thing that I would like you to make clear is that we are planning to include a new clause- performance based pay- in it. BCCI appointed a technical committee headed by Shashank Manohar to work on the nitty-gritties of the new clause. Also we have decided to give bonus to the Indian cricket team on winning the Test matches or the Test series they play.

Q: Will this be applicable in the next series itself?
NS: I hope so. If the contracts are finalised in the ensuing board meeting then this will be applicable in the Bangladesh series.


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