Former Indian cricketer and team director Ravi Shastri said he did not step down from the ICC Cricket Committee because of Anil Kumble, who pipped him to the post of Indian coach, the chairman of the prestigious committee.
In an interview with Gulf News, Shastri said, “I had informed Shashank Manohar (chairman of the ICC) 10 days before the Indian Premier League final that I am resigning from it as the meeting of the ICC cricket committee is always held the next day of the IPL final. It was twisted as me having quit not wanting to be a member of a committee in which Anil (Kumble) is the chairman and it was absolute nonsense. I resigned due to my media commitments and nothing else and I have the greatest regard for Anil.”
Shastri said he always shares a good rapport with Kumble, who played a few Test matches with Shastri. “Anil, within two minutes after him being appointed as coach, called me and I congratulated him and told him that he has got a great team. When he asked if he could call me anytime, I said he can call me anytime for anything.”
The former 1983 World Cup winning all-rounder also said that he never mentioned that because of Sourav Ganguly he failed to become Indian coach. Ganguly one of the interviewer at the three members board. The other two members are VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar.
“I have never made any personal attack on anyone at me not getting the job. Not once have I mentioned in any interview that Ganguly was responsible for me not becoming the coach because I know that there are three others in the committee. Everything happened following my interview to Rajdeep Sardesai (CNN-IBN Channel) in which I said there were some good questions from Sachin, Laxman, and Jagdale and when asked about Ganguly, I mentioned he wasn’t there.”
Shastri also explained Ganguly’s criticism about him not being physically present for the interview as he was holidaying in Bangkok. “I got an email from BCCI, requesting me to be present for an interview at Taj Bengal in Kolkata at 4pm when I was already in Bangkok. The email had also specifically mentioned that since the request to attend the interview is on short notice, one can attend it through Skype. The process of interview is not my job and haven’t questioned it but all that I felt is when the other three members could interview me, I felt Ganguly should have shown respect to the committee and to the person to be interviewed.”
“What I treasure most is the 18 months I was with the Indian team and being able to be sit in the same dressing room with one of the greatest cricketers M.S. Dhoni,” Shastri signed off.