BCCI cuts India-coach longlist to 21

Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar will play a key role in selecting the next India coach 

The list of 57 candidates for the post of India coach has been cut to 21, the BCCI announced on Wednesday. The next step in the process of selecting the coach will be a review of the remaining candidates by the BCCI's cricket advisory committee, comprising former players Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. Sanjay Jagdale, who had served as BCCI secretary in the past, will act as chief co-ordinator of the committee for the duration of this process.

The trimming down from 57 applicants to 21 was carried out by BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke's office. However, if the cricket advisory committee wishes, it will be furnished with the entire list of 57 as well, the BCCI said. The committee is expected to submit its choice to Shirke by June 22.

Shirke did not divulge any of the 21 names, pointing out that that would affect the committee's work. The BCCI has not revealed any of the 57 names, but some candidates confirmed that they had applied. The prominent ones are Ravi Shastri (former India team director), Anil Kumble (former India captain), Sandeep Patil (current chairman of selectors) and Stuart Law (ex-Bangladesh coach).

Among the key qualifications asked of the applicants by the BCCI was that they should have coached at the international or first-class level. It was also mentioned that "it is preferred that the candidate should be qualified through a certification/assessment program conducted by any of the Full Member countries, and currently possess such a valid certification."*

Kumble, despite his vast experience as a player and administrator, does not meet both criteria. Shirke did not want to comment on this, but said it was for the advisory committee to work out the eligibility of the shortlisted candidates. "They [panel] have the liberty to decide," Shirke said.

It is understood that a final shortlist of candidates will be asked to appear for interviews before the BCCI finalises the coach.

*15.30GMT, June 15: The wording of the required qualification quoted here has been changed to reflect the BCCI's list of criteria.