Mumbai : Duncan Fletcher’s days as India coach are numbered. Tenali Rama has learnt from reliable sources in the BCCI that the Board is seriously considering appointing Malayalam superstar Mohanlal, who is the captain of the Kerala Strikers in the Celebrity Cricket League as the next coach of the Indian team.
BCCI officials are of the view that with both Fletcher and Mohanlal similarly built, there will be continuity in the Indian dressing room. “We also found the filmy teams are playing far better cricket in the CCL than our Indian team in Australia. Besides we all know what a terrific talent Mr Mohanlal is. He is more senior than all seniors in the team and will be respected by all. And if and when Sreesanth comes back into the team, he can handle him better by giving it back to him, using expletives in their mother tongue Malayalam,” explained an official.
However, a lobby in the BCCI is also rooting for Salman Khan. The Bollywood superstar, riding the crest of success, is the face of the `Mumbai Heroes’ team in the CCL.
“Sallu Bhai jo ek baar thaan lete hai to phir khud ki bhi nahin sunte,” gushed the BCCI official, who revealed he hadn’t missed a single Salman film, from `Maine Pyaar kiya’ onwards. “He will also help improve fitness levels in the Indian team. There has been too much criticism about Dhoni’s field placing and Fletcher’s inability to guide him. Salman, with his immense knowledge of fine leg, short fine leg, cover, leg slip etc, will be a better coach.”
Salman is likely to ask for Virat `middle finger’ Kohli to be made captain to have better synergy with the skipper. A member of Team India said the Khan-Kohli duo will make rival teams say, “Thappad se darr nahin lagta saheb, middle finger se darr lagta hai.”
However, given Salman’s film commitments, he is likely to insist that on tours that he cannot travel with the team, brother Arbaaz Khan and sister-in-law Malaika Arora Khan be appointed as deputy coaches. Salman may also demand that brother Sohail Khan and actors Aftab Shivdasani and Johny Lever be included in the India team.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has welcomed the decision to involve Salman. Ganguly wrote in his column, “The wait for a truly macho leader will be over. Not since the days of the Natwest Trophy final at Lord’s in London, when I removed my shirt, waved it and mouthed profanities, India has seen a shirtless leader. Now Salman can inspire India to follow in my footsteps.”
It is reportedly in the `going shirtless’ aspect that Salman scores over Mohanlal. But at the time of going to press, it was still too close to call who will be India’s next coach.
(Pic courtesy : www.thebollywoodgallery.com and www.americancollegecricket.com)