The hunt for the new Indian cricket coach has come to a standstill, with prime candidate Graham Ford's withdrawal from the race. It takes more than just vast cricketing knowledge and experience to be at the helm of the job that has become cricket's answer to Real Madrid, the Spanish football club which has become unmanageable over the past few years.
The job pays very well, undoutedbly. But the pressures and expectations associated with it outdo any kind of financial satisfaction that a coach can gain. The Indian cricketing system is way too complex for coaches, who have to come through a thousand influences and interferences before making their mark.
Ford's withdrawal is also a sign of how the BCCI has actually "hyped" the job into the cricketing stratosphere. English hope John Emburey has also rejected the offer made to him. I think a home-grown coach, who has seen and done it all, should be in the mainframe for the job. But even yesteryear heroes want to stay out of the pool of controversies that it generates. The lack of applications speaks for that.
In the end, it will all come down to the players getting back to their best. A rejuvenated India did produce a commanding show in Bangladesh, but the challenges that lie ahead are way tougher.....