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Cricket board to name new coach today

You don’t have to be glued to the television for the whole of today to find out who the new Indian coach is. You can switch on the idiot box in the evening.

An announcement with regard to the new coach is unlikely to happen till late on Monday night.

The special committee, formed to decide on India’s next coach, will start deliberations in Bangalore only in the night as its chairman and the president of Board of Control for Cricket in India, Sharad Pawar, will reach the city only in the evening.

There is also a possibility that there won’t be an announcement at all on Monday. It will depend, as a key member of the committee says, what names the seven members propose. More precisely it will depend on what former Indian skipper, Sunil Gavaskar, says.

Others, however, seem to have settled for Dav Whatmore, the man who has been tipped to take charge of India for a while now. Coverage of his very imminent appointment to the toughest coaching post in world cricket has consumed more newsprint and television time than probably what was reserved for Steve McLaren, before he took over as England football manager.

“Unless more names crop up, we will announce Whatmore as the coach. But, I can’t say that with certainty. What I can say is Whatmore stands a good chance,” Niranjan Shah, Board secretary, told DNA.

Besides the support of Board members, Whatmore has the strong backing of Ravi Shastri, who has seen his work and interacted with him during India’s recent tour of Bangladesh. Shastri, a member of the committee and the cricket manager during India’s tour of Bangladesh, has given positive inputs to the Board about the burly Australian, who — as it has transpired — has also won over the vote of the Indian players.

But Gavaskar’s could be the only dissenting voice at the meeting. The former India captain, a known backer of desi coaches, is likely to come up with some Indian names. But a Board official said: “We’ll have two Indians — bowling and fielding coaches — in the support staff anyway.”

Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh, who went to Bangladesh as bowling and batting coaches are expected to be retained. “We’re happy with the work done by them. Their term should be extended,” a board official said.

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