Ahead of the 12th edition of Indian Premier League, IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore has been taken by surprise as their head coach Gary Kirsten learnt to have applied for the vacant post of India women's team coach job.
Kirsten was handed the head coach position by RCB in August. However, his decision to apply for the women’s coach role just a few days before the IPL auction has come as a shock for the Virat Kohli-led franchise.
“Gary has not reached out to us or mentioned anything about applying for any other position,” an RCB official told CricketNext. “Unless, the BCCI informs us officially that Kirsten will be taking up a post with them, he remains the head coach of our team. We’ll take a call on the situation if Gary informs us otherwise.”
Apart from Kirsten, other overseas contenders to have applied for the same position include former South Africa opener Herschelle Gibbs, former England cricketers Owais Shah and Dimitri Mascarenhas, former Sri Lanka and Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore, former Australian first-class cricketer Dominic Thornely, Oman’s head coach Rakesh Sharma and Scottish cricket coach Colin Siller.
The BCCI, on their part, confirmed that Kirsten is among the applicants to have applied for the job on December 14.
“He is one of the applicants but we are still in the process of short-listing candidates to call for interview on December 20,” a senior BCCI official told CricketNext. “If they fulfill all the criterion, only then they will be on short list for the interview that will be forwarded to the ad-hoc committee.”
The interview of the shortlisted candidates will be held on Thursday, 20th December, 2018 at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai. An ad-hoc committee featuring Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy will be conducting the interviews.
“There is no doubt about Kirsten’s credentials as a coach,” an ad-hoc committee member said. “But isn’t he still coaching an IPL franchise? We have to find out how he will be able to take up this job if he continues to hold the post with RCB.”
Meanwhile, Gopal Sankaranarayanan, secretary of the Lodha Panel which led to the Supreme Court appointing the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in charge of running the BCCI has made it clear that there is no conflict of interest in Kirsten taking up two jobs since this is a very different situation.
“I don’t see any reason for conflict of interest in this issue but rather it will have to be a compromise,” Sankaranarayanan told CricketNext.
“If it was (Ravi) Shastri requesting time off to do IPL coaching, then there might have been a conflict because he could have favoured a player from his franchise in the Indian team. This is not the case with the women’s job.
“However, women’s coach job is a full-time job. If he has to work on development of the team, he’ll have to devote all of his time ad not ask for couple of months off to coach in IPL even though the women’s calendar might be free at that time. I don’t know if BCCI will offer him that option or flexibility in their contract but in my opinion, Gary should not be holding two jobs, especially since one is a full-time women’s coach job,” he explained.
(With inputs from CricketNext)