Considered one of the front-runners to replace Anil Kumble as the head coach of Indian cricket team, Virender Sehwag has revealed that he applied only because he was asked to by the Board of Control of Cricket in India during the Champions Trophy in England.
“I thought since they are requesting me, I should help them. I never thought of applying on my own nor I will ever apply in future,” Sehwag was quoted as saying by India TV.
The former Indian opener said that he would have not considered it had current head coach Ravi Shastri applied for the post when it was advertised for the first time in May, before Kumble announced his resignation, post Champions Trophy. Shastri, if you recall, had only applied when the deadline was extended after Kumble made his decision to quit, citing an untenable relationship with captain Virat Kohli.
“When I was in England during the Champions Trophy, I had asked Ravi Shastri that why he hasn’t applied for the post? Shastri then told me that he will not repeat the mistake which he had already made once. If Ravi Shastri had applied earlier, then I don’t think there would have been any chance of me applying for the post. I would have never applied,” Sehwag added.
Sehwag also revealed he spoke to Kohli about this and only after that he decided to throw his name in the hat. In his typical tongue-in-cheek style, he also said he did not have any ‘setting’ with the Tendulkar-Ganguly-Laxman committee.
“Dekhiye main coach isliye nahi ban paaya kyonki jo bhi coach chun rahe the unse mera koi setting nahin tha. (Look I couldn’t become the (India) coach because I didn’t have any setting (common slang for hobnobbing with decision-makers) with those who were in power of appointing the coach),” he said.
Six candidates were asked to be interviewed in July. Other than Phil Simmons, all five, including Ravi Shastri, Virender Sehwag, Richard Pybus, Tom Moody and Lalchand Rajput spoke to the three-member committee Cricket Advisory Committee. Sehwag was the only candidate who was physically present for the interview, while the rest spoke via Skype.
Sehwag, who played 104 Tests and 251 ODIs for India, was the mentor for IPL outfit Kings XI Punjab in the 2017 edition, where the team failed to qualify for the playoffs.