With his tenure as Team India’s head coach ending after the 2021 T20 World Cup, Ravi Shastri has opened up about the opposition he faced when he had applied for the coach’s job after the end of his stint as Team Director in 2016. Shastri has had three stints with Team India with his first being a temporary charge in 2007 for a tour to Bangladesh. He was appointed Team Director in 2014 after India’s disastrous Test tour of England. That stint came to an end with India’s ouster from the 2016 ICC WT20 in the semi-finals. While Shastri had applied for the head coach’s job immediately after his stint came to an end, he had lost out to former India captain and spin legend Anil Kumble. He was brought back after just a year as Anil Kumble decided to resign from the position due to differences with captain Virat Kohli.
Speaking to Times of India, the 59-year-old spoke about the circumstances in which his stint as Team Director came to an end and also threw light about the opposition he faced when he had applied for the job in 2016.
“In less than two years after I was asked to set aside my broadcast career, leave everything else and join the team, I suddenly found myself out for no reason. I had sown the seeds and the fruits were beginning to show and out of nowhere I came to know I was being replaced. Nobody told me why. Yes, more than anything, it hurt because of the manner in which it was done,” Shastri said.
“Yes, more than anything, it hurt because of the manner in which it was done. For all that I had contributed, just on one word from the BCCI, there were better ways to let me know “Oh look we don’t want you, we don’t like you. We want somebody else – if that was the case. Anyway, I went back to do what I do best – which is television,” he added.
Shastri also stated that “specific people” attempted “to ensure” that his term as Team Director ended in 2016 and he couldn’t get the head coach’s job after applying for it.
“During my second stint, I came after a huge controversy. And it was literally egg on the faces of those who wanted me away. They opted for someone and nine months later, they came back to the very guy they threw out”, he stated.
“And I’m not pointing any fingers at people in general. Specific people. I must say an attempt was made to ensure I don’t get the job. But such is life,” Shastri added.
Shastri was appointed head coach in 2017 after India’s loss in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy and stayed in the position till his term came to an end in November 2021. The Indian cricket team had a hugely successful time across all formats under Shastri’s stewardship, except the fact that the team failed to win any ICC trophies.
Since Shastri’s departure, Rahul Dravid has taken over the mantle of head coach of Team India. The former cricketer began his tenure with T20I and Test series wins at home against New Zealand.
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