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Gambhir, WV Raman interview for Chief Coach's post with CAC set to revamp selection panel too (Ld)

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Mumbai, June 19 (IANS) The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday kicked off the process for selecting the next head coach of the senior national men's team with former India openers Gautam Gambhir and WV Raman appearing for interviews and an overseas candidate expected to appear on Wednesday.

Initially, it was reported that only Gambhir, who is the front-runner for the post after guiding Kolkata Knight Riders to the title in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, would appear for an interview before the CAC comprising Ashok Malhotra, Jatin Paranjape and Sulakshana Naik.

In the evening, BCCI sources confirmed to IANS that WV Raman also appeared for the interview virtually with Paranjape and Sulakshana Naik joining from the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai and Malhotra linking in from Delhi where he is on a commentary stint.

“Apart from Gautam Gambhir WV Raman was also there for an interview," a well-placed source in BCCI told IANS. "The CAC will interview one more candidate tomorrow who is an overseas candidate,” the source said.

The BCCI called for applications seeking candidates for the prestigious post after incumbent Rahul Dravid did not want to seek another term after the T20 World Cup in the USA and Caribbean. Dravid was already on an extension as his initial contract had ended after last year's ODI World Cup at home.

Gambhir appeared before the panel virtually from his home in Delhi and presented his vision and plan for the team. It was reported that he is the preferred choice of BCCI bigwigs including Secretary Jay Shah. Gambhir confirmed his candidature after the BCCI bigwigs agreed to his condition of being given a free hand in running the team as he does at the KKR. The BCCI officials are also impressed with the way Gambhir mentored young players at KKR and helped the franchise win its third IPL title.

Raman, a left-handed opener like Gambhir who had earlier coached the women's team, made an impressive presentation.

The committee was heavily impressed with Raman’s presentation. There have been no updates as to who the overseas candidate is but is expected to be interviewed on Wednesday.

Interviews for selector too

Meanwhile, the CAC will also interview candidates to replace a selector for the senior men's national team.

The present committee has two candidates -- chief selector Ajit Agarkar and Salil Ankola from the West Zone and none from the North, Ankola's term will be coming to an end and the BCCI sources said the Board would like him to be replaced by someone from North Zone to balance regional representation.

As per reports, Nikhil Chopra, Reetinder Singh Sodhi, Mithun Manhas and Kishan Mohan have applied for the lone vacancy with Sodhi and Manhas leading the race.

The BCCI will also be re-organising the support staff of the national team but that matter will be taken up after the selection of the chief coach as he will have a big say in the selection process. The chief coach will be working with the support staff and therefore the BCCI wants to pick people of his choice.

--IANS

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