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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 April 2007, 09:31 GMT 10:31 UK
Shastri accepts India coach role
Ravi Shastri
Shastri was one of seven former captains at the meeting

Former Test all-rounder Ravi Shastri has agreed to become India's coach for the forthcoming tour to Bangladesh.

The 44-year-old will take over on an interim basis from Australian Greg Chappell, who resigned following India's World Cup elimination.

Shastri, who now works as a TV commentator, admitted the offer had come as a surprise.

But he added: "If you look at the state of Indian cricket, I thought it was time to put my hand up and be counted."

Shastri scored 3,830 runs and claimed 151 wickets in 80 Test matches after making his debut at the age of 19, and also played in 150 one-day internationals.

He is also well known for hitting spinner Tilak Raj for six sixes in an over in a first-class match in 1985 and thereby becoming only the second man after West Indies legend Garry Sobers to achieve the feat.

His appointment for next month's tour to Bangladesh, which includes three one-day internationals and two Tests, will also see him double up in the role of team manager.

He will be assisted by Venkatesh Prasad as bowling coach and Robin Singh, who will have responsibility for the team's fielding.

"This will give the board time to decide on Chappell's successor," said a BCCI spokesman.

The board is keen to retain the services of Chappell in an advisory role.

"As coach, he felt he was partly responsible for the poor performances," said a board statement after conducting a detailed briefing with the Australian on Friday.

"He pointed out the shortcomings and suggested measures to improve Indian cricket.

Greg Chappell
Coach Greg Chappell leaves after speaking to Board officials

"He emphasised the need to promote youngsters and concentrate on fitness and strenght for the team to do well in fielding and running between the wickets."

Chappell announced his resignation earlier this week, although his contract would have come to an end at the end of the month in any event.

His report to Board officials at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium did not make reference to individual players, although there have been reports since the team returned from the Caribbean that Chappell was unhappy with the attitude of some senior members of the team.

BCCI president Sharad Pawar complimented Chappell on his "professional approach" and wants him to help in "the implementation of long-term plans".

Team captain Rahul Dravid and chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar also spoke at the meeting.

Vengsarkar called for domestic cricket to be strengthened and said India needed a larger pool of 25 to 30 top-class players from which the national side could be chosen.

And six other former Indian captains, including Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Mansur Ali Khan, were also in attendance to help formulate proposals about how to take things forward.

Captain Rahul Dravid arrives for the meeting
Rahul Dravid's position as captain is likely to be on the agenda

India, runners-up at the 2003 World Cup, did not even make it to the Super 8 stage of the tournament in the West Indies after losing group matches against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka - results which were greeted with outrage among some supporters.

A number of recommendations were made following the first day of the meeting, including proposals to curb the number of big-money endorsement contracts leading players can sign.

From now on, all such contracts must be approved by the BCCI and should not contain any clauses relating to "performance-based incentive".

Members of the Indian team have become fabulously wealthy through sponsorship and product endorsements. Tendulkar, for example, currently has 11 agreements, reportedly worth an estimated $400m.

The other main recommendations from the meeting were:

  • The job of national team selector to become a paid, full-time role
  • Changes to the international calendar to ensure six to eight weeks per year are available for domestic competitions
  • The quality of pitches for domestic cricket to be improved - they should be "sporting and lively" from now on and prepared under the supervision of the board's Pitch Committee.
  • Regular tours to be arranged for the India A team to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies, normally ahead of tours to those countries by the senior side.
  • A Cricket Committee of former India captains to be established and to meet on a quarterly basis

    Whatmore declares India interest
    05 Apr 07 |  Cricket
    Chappell quits as coach of India
    04 Apr 07 |  Cricket
    Tendulkar 'hurt' by attitude row
    04 Apr 07 |  Cricket
    Humbled Indian team returns home
    29 Mar 07 |  South Asia
    The financial cost of India's failure
    26 Mar 07 |  South Asia


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