Tag Archives: Graham Ford

Team India: Sans Coach, Physio and a few players!

“No coach, no problem”, said Robin Singh on the eve of a long and arduous Team India tour of Great Britain. Team India did not appoint a coach thanks to a series of blundering steps by the committee which was tasked with managing the coach-selection-process. This farce then resulted in the appointment of septuagenarian Chandu Borde, as Team India Manager; a fact that precipitated much mirth and humour!

Meanwhile, while all of this has been happening in India, thanks to the rabble that was put together for the coach-selection-process, Sri Lanka quietly went about their business with clinical efficiency. After appointing Trevor Bayliss as Coach of the team, they have progressed even further. They are in the process of appointing Greg Blewett or Jonty Rhodes (or maybe both) as Bayliss’s support staff. I salute the focussed Sri Lankan approach.

Pakistan too went about its business in a professional manner. Three candidates were interviewed and the recommendation points to Dav Whatmore. However, the PCB is not making their decision final until both the potential appointee and the employer are satisfied with the terms and conditions.

Take note, Niranjan Shah!

Although Robin Singh, India’s fielding coach said, “no coach, no problem” when talking about the mess Indian cricket is in, one can’t but help wonder, “But what else can he say?”

Meanwhile, Team India physio, John Gloster has tripped on a boundary rope and fractured his hand! The team has called up London-based Nitin Patel as interim-cover for Gloster! Patel works as physio at the ECB cricket academy. India-A physio, Vaibhav Daga, is also on stand-by.

And as if all of this wasn’t enough, at least seven Team India players are reportedly down with a combination of cold-flu and fever. This includes ODI vice-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who missed the first match of the tour against Ireland!

What a terrific start to a long season!

— Mohan

Advertisements

Remote Control Management

ShaftTreeAndHaveArse

If you would like to read more about RCM and FordGate, follow this link!

Contrast the approaches of India and Sri Lanka…

In direct contrast to the supremely arrogant, mindless and clueless manner that India adopted in selecting its coach, Sri Lanka went about their task of finding a replacement for Tom Moody in a quiet, focussed, organised and goal-oriented manner. Sri Lanka has chosen Trevor Bayliss, the current New South Wales coach after a professionally conducted search process. Sri Lanka stayed under the radar and went about their business in a quietly efficient manner.

Sri Lanka had former-cricketers on their selection panel too; cricketers who care about the future of Sri Lankan cricket. In Sidath Wettimuny, Michael Tissera, Anura Tennekoon Duleep Mendis and Aravinda de Silva, they had a brains trust that was dependable and able. They had Board administrators on the panel too; officials who care about things other than just moolah. The end result was a smart appointment.

Bayliss was a decent player for New South Wales. On retiring, he turned to coaching and took over the coaching of the NSW side when Steve Rixon left. He led NSW to triumphs in the Pura Cup and the ING cup. This was a smart appointment.

In direct contrast, we have Niranjan Shan now crying like a 5-year old whose lollies have been stolen. Unfortunately, Indian cricket is run by a bunch of guys that do not seem to know the difference between their backsides and their bent elbows.

The most shocking piece in all of this was Gavaskar’s comments when Graham Ford turned down the job. He said, “We are back to square one, that is a fact of life. I don’t know what the BCCI’s thinking is, whether it will start the process [of appointing a coach] all over again or make a short-term appointment as it did for the Bangladesh tour.

Now, what does this statement really say?

Yes. The fact is that the Butchering Cricket Committee of Idiots (BCCI) is back to square-one. And Gavaskar is indeed right — that is a fact of life! But why did this “fact of life” realisation hit the idiots-committee only post the Ford-Escape event? If the idiots-committee knew that a rejection is a “fact of life”, why did they have to send I-can-talk-more-nonsense-than-you-can-write-Niranjan-Shah to thump his chests in an arrogant and bullish manner and claim that they had appointed Graham Ford even before Ford had accepted?

But the most galling part of Gavaskar’s comments is where he says “I don’t know what the BCCI’s thinking is“. Huh? Has he absolved himself of all responsibility? Dammit! He is part of the committee that is supposed to have the answers! Why throw it back to the BCCI? The least he could have done is to say “I don’t know what our thinking is”. In that one statement he has effectively sought to absolve himself of all ownership and accountability in the selection process. Is he placing himself as part of the solution or part of the problem?

And the part where he says “whether it will start the process all over again or make a short-term appointment as it did for the Bangladesh tour” is further evidence of pointing the finger of accountability somewhere else. Clearly, the idiots-committee did not even think through a Plan-B, let alone evolve one. No wonder they adopted an ants in the pants approach to hurriedly appoint Chandu Borde, the first name that came to their collective (non)minds.

Should this man have any part in the running of Indian cricket?

And to top it all, we have Chandu Borde saying that he is not sure what is expected of him! So, we have a selection committee that has just thrown their collective hands in the air and absolved themselves of all responsibility. We have a bunch of idiots that do not have a clue but are crying foul while hiding behind their mama’s saris. And a coach-manager that does not have a clue! And all of this, just before a major, lengthy tour.

Sigh!

— Mohan

Indian Cricket loses (Ford) Focus – Who’s to blame?

Continuing with the flavor of the today and keeping Mohan’s systems approach in mind, it is worthwhile undertaking a causal analysis of a failure of this magnitude.

1. Failure of the Board – As has been consistently communicated on this site, the Board with a clear lack of vision and well defined objectives, clear description of organizational structure, roles, responsibilities and accountability framework is most certainly at the root of the problem. It is imperative that they get their act straight. This includes setting meaningful criteria (job descriptions) starting from the President. I do not believe Sharad Pawar has any role to play in the management of a sport.

2. Failure of the Selection Committee – To start with, this was not an appropriate selection committee in the first place — I am not so sure that someone like Sunil Gavaskar should even be on this committee. Secondly, assuming as Mohan says that there were no job ads created or placed, the selection committee should have refused to participate in the process in the first place. On what basis were they even evaluating the candidates? Why is the member of the selection committee even recommending a candidate? Isn’t that a conflict of interest? Again, Mohan has elaborated extensively on this issue. But it is infuriating to realize that for a such a highly paid and prestigious job, a total lack of process and formality was observed.

3. Failure of the Team Management – As Mohan has discussed in his blog, it is not rather unfortunate that there is such dependence on the captain and senior cricketers in the selection of the coach. Having said that and having experienced the previous two cases, the team management, in having pursued that approach, should take some responsibility for this failure. Where was their due diligence? Why, after having influenced the previous two selections, did they not place extra effort in managing those relationships? How credit worthy are their recommendations any more?

Are we observing symptoms of a catastrophic failure? The saving grace for Indian cricket, money, might just burn out — it is paper after all. Would someone soon realize that these are failures that should be addressed rather quickly?

It is easier to digest failures of cricketers, who at least try to give their best on the field (a majority of them at least), may win some and lose some. What we are witnessing is an absolutely disgraceful failure by a bunch of power-mongering, politically motivated, egotistic group of individuals who hold Indian cricket to ransom.

And that is totally unacceptable and intolerable.

– Srikanth

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

Graham Who? And who else?

The decision on the new Indian coach is due in the next couple of weeks. Most Indian cricket fans wouldn’t have heard the name of Graham Ford, who apparently is the front runner for the Indian coaching job. Other names have also been brandished along. CricInfo reports that  John Emburey is one of them. Apparently Duncan Fletcher is another. Graham Gooch and Mike Gatting make up the numbers.

Whatmore is now out of favour. There aren’t any Indian names that have sprung up recently, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if they did. Whether it is a Firangi or Desi coach, I reckon it is time to give Balbir Singh a call and make him Head coach 🙂

-Mahesh-

Not just Whatmore!

The next 3 or 4 days, all cricket news in India will be centered around the new coach to be appointed. Already Dav Whatmore is being considered the top favorite for the post. Meanwhile Cricinfo reports that both Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev are keen that India have a home grown coach, while the players prefer a foreigner. But the most interesting piece of news is another name that has just cropped up.

It is that of Graham Ford a South African. Who is this guy? Some digging inside Cricinfo revealed this

“Unassuming and determinedly low key, Graham Ford ascended gradually to the position of South African coach, by-passing several bigger and more familiar names along the way. A competent all-round sportsman, Ford is a former provincial tennis champion, has provincial colours for football and is a qualified rugby union referee to go with his cricketing credentials. As a player, Ford had an eight-year first-class career in the Natal B team during the 1980s, but as a coach he moved steadily through the ranks, from the University of the Natal team, through the Natal Colts side to become senior Natal coach in 1992. He was the first to admit that he was fortunate with Natal in having Malcolm Marshall and Clive Rice on hand to help him guide a crop of outstanding young players which included Shaun Pollock, Jonty Rhodes, Lance Klusener, Neil Johnson, Dale Benkenstein and Errol Stewart. At the same time, his personalised approach proved not only popular, but effective as Natal astounded South Africa in the 1996-97 season by winning the domestic first-class and one-day competitions. He had already had a go at coaching the South African A team and in 1998 took the A side on tour to Sri Lanka. At the beginning of 1999, Ford was appointed assistant to Bob Woolmer in New Zealand, a role he carried through to the 1999 World Cup, before taking over the senior position when Woolmer’s contract ran out after the World Cup. In his time, they won nine of the 11 series under his guidance.. The Hansiegate Affair, however, has massively disrupted the South African side, and Ford was fired in 2001. Many believed he unfairly paid the price for internal power games within South African cricket. He moved to Kent as director of cricket in 2004, and while there oversaw an influx of South African players to the county. In 2006 he returned home to take charge of the Dolphins. ”

Of couse Cricinfo always has a way of coming with bits of info much before anybody else. The last time India chose a coach, there was a third candidate, Desmond Haynes, who I though was invited just to make up the numbers for the interview. Maybe it is the same this time and a new name has been dropped into the hat, especially after Whatmore’s statement in the press yesterday that he has not yet been offered a job in India.  I am sure another name or two will come up in the next few days before the BCCI meeting on June 4th. Meanwhile let the discussions begin.

– Sanjay