Ford Escape!

I totally agree with the original post on this topic by Srikanth as well as Sampath Kumar’s comment. Once again, I started writing this in the comments section and it got bigger than Ben Hur! So, I am posting here. Do read Srikanth’s post first.

Graham Ford rejected BCCI’s offer and opted to stay on at Kent, where he is Director of Cricket.

In the first comment to Srikanth’s original post, Sampath Kumar suggests that the main reason for the rejection was the short-term that was offered to Ford: 1-year term — extendable to 3 years.

That may be a reason. It could be a lot more than that. Who knows?

The entire selection process was ill-planned and badly executed. I have sat on many a selection committee in my life and I will sit on a few more, hopefully. This sordid tale gives me many a lesson on how not to conduct a search process.

No one knows

  • What the ‘search criteria’ were — I am assuming that there was one!
  • Why there wasn’t a job-advert formally put out. The BCCI must have thought that all they had to do was sack the previous coach and they’d immediately have a queue of a hundred salivating coach-wannabes. Wrong. The world doesn’t work that way! There is a ‘talent-war’ out there. The job has to be right for the right person to be secured.
  • Whose responsibility it was to “head hunt” — it is a sad reflection of the process that players got involved in ‘nominating’ Ford!
  • Whether there were clearly identified roles and responsibilities for each member on the search committee — if indeed one existed.
  • Why Dav Whatmore was informed that he was “not needed” — I am assuming that he was informed! If he was appointable but not the first choice, why would we show him the door prematurely?

Unfortunately, it seems to me that the BCCI has sadly over-rated its own job-offer. Money doesn’t buy everything. It is about time the goons that run the show realised that a lot more matters in a top job than just the money.

  • Visions and goals need to be set at the top. These do not permeate through the organisation if it is not set up there.
  • The terms need to be right.
  • The infrastructure needs to be right.
  • The support system needs to be right.
  • The attitude needs to be right.
  • And perhaps most importantly, there can be only one hand on the wheel that drives the bus (the coaching bus in India has too many hands on the wheel and most of these hands are official or unofficial BCCI staff).
    And much more.

This was a kick-in-the-backside that the BCCI deserved and those that ran the committee should hang their collective heads in shame.

Dileep Premachandran, in a thorough analysis of this mess makes some interesting observations.

First, that Dravid and his teammates have reason to feel dejected, for it was them that suggested Ford’s name. I have no problems with the fact that Dravid suggested Ford. After all, Dravid has to get on with the coach 24/7. One would have thought that Dravid would have ascertained Ford’s availability and interest before suggesting his name. The fact that Ford rejected the offer indicate that it was either (a) the briefness of the tenure or (b) the rabble that he saw at the interview (many hands on the wheel), that scared him away. I am assuming that the ‘cash on offer’ wasn’t a problem.

Sure, he may have been frightened off by the heightened expectations that come with coaching Team India. Again, I am sure, he would have weighed this up before throwing his hat in the ring, especially after an invitation from Rahul Dravid! Sure there may be personal reasons. But surely, he had weighed those up before throwing his hat in the ring, especially after an invitation from Rahul Dravid!

The fact that players nominated/selected the previous two coaches says something in itself. It says to me that the people running cricket in India lack either the passion, the interest, gumption or the vision or the decision-making abilities. Dravid nominated John Wright and Ganguly nominated Greg Chappell.

In his article, Dileep Premachandran suggests that the fact that the last two coaches have been nominated/selected by players is not perhaps a healthy trend. He suggests that “tough love” may not be possible — the nominated coach would be reluctant to ‘cut off the hand that fed’ him.

Wrong. Although this is, no doubt, a cute theory, precedence is against this observation by Dileep. Greg Chappell was ‘nominated’ by Ganguly. Chappell was the one that initiated Ganguly’s ouster from the team.

The fact is that, through an alarming lack of vision, goal and process, the BCCI is back to square-A. It has also landed on its backside with an embarassing thud!

The squad for Ireland and England will be chosen today (12 June 2007) and the team leaves for Ireland a week from now.

So, this is nothing short of a kick in the groin to the BCCI and its continuing ineptitude. And it is about time.

So what are the options?

  • Appoint someone like Sandeep Patil for the Ireland and England tours and carry out a proper search process (retain Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad).
  • Appoint someone like Sandeep Patil for a whole year starting now (retain Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad).
  • Appoint John Embury.
  • Appoint Dav Whatmore.

What an utter and hopeless shambolic shemozzle…

— Mohan

4 responses to “Ford Escape!

  1. Mohan,

    Firstly, well said. Secondly, I apologize for I may have repeated in my latest blog what you have already said, only using different words. Anyway, this topic needs all the reinforcement and attention that it can.

  2. Appoint Prasad & Robin as joint coaches.

  3. Pingback: Team India: Sans Coach, Physio and a few players! « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  4. Hola! I’ve been reading your site for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent job!

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