Even as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced it had appointed Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan as batting and bowling consultants, respectively along with Ravi Shastri as head coach, the World-Cup winning all-rounder maintained he will choose his own support staff.
Shastri's calls are likely to be answered as the BCCI is set to appoint his former assistant Bharat Arun as bowling coach of the Indian cricket team.
The former India captain, while maintaining he was happy to have Khan and Dravid in part-time roles, was persistent about getting Arun on board. Notably, the former India and Tamil Nadu pacer worked with the Indian team from 2014 to 2016 as bowling coach, under the then Team Director Shastri.
"The COA [Committee of Administrators] has decided to grant Shastri his wish as it is no secret that the head coach will have to work with the bowling coach on a full-time basis and there should be clear communication and understanding between the two individuals," a senior BCCI official told CricketNext.
Khan reportedly was used as a bargaining chip to convince Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) member Sourav Ganguly about Shastri's selection as head coach after the former had reservations about the latter's appointment. Notably, the two cricket legends were involved in an ugly spat last year after the coach selection interview, when Anil Kumble beat Shastri for the post.
The BCCI said the CAC, also comprising Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, had consulted Shastri about the appointments of Zaheer and Dravid as support staff.
It has now emerged that Khan was once again not willing to join the team on a full-time basis. Notably, the former India pacer missed out on bowling coach role last year after the BCCI decided against offering Rs 4 crore as salary he demanded for a 100-day role.
Notably, Shastri had preferred Arun over Khan as he believed the former would be able to spend more time and has more technical experience.
"Zaheer was not ready for a full-time job and Shastri wanted a full-time bowling coach. Thus, this arrangement," the BCCI official said.
He added: "The Cricket Advisory Committee's decision to appoint Zaheer Khan as the bowling consultant (overseas) stands and a call on that will be taken after the new four-member panel of the BCCI meets and decides on matters of appointment and the financial details. It is no case of one man's word against the other."
Notably, in a dramatic U-turn on Saturday, July 15, the Supreme Court-appointed CoA reportedly said only Shastri's appointment was finalised and that Khan and Dravid's contracts were put on hold. The three-member committee also added "appointments of other consultants will be decided by the committee in consultation with the head coach."
The CoA also appointed a four-member panel -- including its member Diana Edulji, acting BCCI president CK Khanna, CEo Rahul Johri, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary -- to decide on the members of support staff apart from Shastri's salary. The newly-appointed committee is expected to meet on July 19 to come up with recommendations.