Ravi Shastri: I want to give something back for my country
It has been a hectic past couple of months for Ravi Shastri. He gave up lucrative assignments to work with the Indian ODI team in England as the ‘Director of Cricket’. Down and out after a humiliating 1-3 loss in the Test series, Shastri’s presence as well as the influx of fresh legs saw a completely different Indian team in the ODI series, smashing the hosts by an identical 3-1 margin.
Impressed with his short tenure, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), decided to extend his tenure as the ‘Director of Cricket’ until the end of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, to be jointly co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
While accepting the responsibility, Shastri revealed that it wasn’t a straightforward decision to accept the assignment. “I gave it a lot of thought before giving them (BCCI) the green signal. After all, the World Cup is a big assignment,” Shastri said in an interview with Mid-Day.
“I had to sacrifice my commentary and it would be impossible to handle both (commentary and being with the team) but I think you have to give back to the game, nation and your cricket board,” he added.
The BCCI also decided to continue with Duncan Fletcher as the head-coach, while Sanjay Bangar and Bharat Arun will continue as assistant coaches until the 2015 WC. R Shridhar will also continue in his role as the fielding coach. Joe Dawes and Trevor Penney have been demoted to working at the National Cricket Academy(NCA) in Bengaluru.
Shastri will be with the team on the tour of Australia – where has had fond memories as a cricketer. “As a cricketer, I have done reasonably well there and how can I forget the 1985 World Championship of Cricket? I am telling myself that I will do this for my country and Board.”