New Delhi: The uncertainty over whether Ravi Shastri will continue to be the head coach of Team India seems all but over, as the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) -- comprising Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy -- appointed to pick the new coach has made it clear that it is not looking at a foreign face for the coveted post.
Speaking to IANS, a CAC member said that with the team doing so well under Shastri, it was all but certain that the former India all-rounder will continue to coach the Virat Kohli-led team.
"We are not too keen to bring in a foreign coach. Yes, had someone of the stature of Gary Kirsten applied, we might have given it a thought. But even then, an Indian would have always been the priority.
After all, the team has also done well under an Indian head coach, so why look for a change? As things stand now, Shastri does look to be the favourite to be handed a fresh contract," the CAC member said.
A senior BCCI official had also recently said that it was important for Shastri to continue as the team was undergoing transition.
"Nothing permanent with a long term effect should happen at this stage of transition. Shastri and Kohli complement each other well and it would be unfair to change half of a team that has been successful.
A change in coach may disturb the equation that exists and allows the players to have the mental space to excel.
"If a change is made at this stage, it would be a change of strategy and planning for the next 5 years. It would be unfair to take such a decision at a stage when the stakeholders are not the ones deciding," the official told IANS.
CoA chief Vinod Rai has made it clear that the final decision lay with the CAC and they will appoint the coach and there won't be a case of them giving their recommendation to the BCCI.
When asked if there was a joint winner, the CAC member said that the vote of Kapil would come in if at all such a scenario arose.
"See, firstly, it is a three-member panel, so a split decision is highly unlikely. But yes, if at all a situation does arise where A goes for one candidate, B for another and C for another, the vote of the chairman will come in and the decision will stand. But as of now, we don't see something like that happening," the member said.
"But yes, we will give the board options like our first preference is A, second preference is B and third preference for the job is C. That is more because there can be a case like at the time of the women's coach appointment when Kirsten had IPL commitments."
The CAC is yet to receive a date from the board as to when the shortlisted candidates are will be interviewed. But they expect to get intimation on the same soon. Rai on his part has said that the interviews will take place in mid-August.
By Baidurjo Bhose