New Delhi, Feb 10: The BCCI is set to appoint former Test opener Vikram Rathour as batting coach of India A and Under 19 teams but since he is a relative of U19 national selector Ashish Kapoor, the recruitment may lead to a 'conflict of interest' controversy.
It has been learnt that GM (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim got a green light for temporary appointment of Rathour and wicket-keeping coach Vijay Yadav from the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai as "additional staff for A and U19 teams".
However, Kapoor is Rathour's brother in law and as per the new BCCI constitution, it could lead to a direct case of conflict of interest.
"India A and U19 coach Rahul Dravid had specifically recommended two names -- Rathour as batting coach and Vijay Yadav as fielding coach as additional staff for A team," a senior BCCI official privy to the development told PTI on condition of anonymity.
"The appointment is on a temporary basis and they will also work with U19 set up during Quadrangular series and also at the NCA. He (Rathour) will also be Rest of India coach in Irani Cup," the official added.
Rathour is supposed to be part of India U19 set-up during an upcoming Quadrangular series involving India U19 A and B teams along with colts from South Africa and Afghanistan. The question being raised is whether GM (Operations) Karim had apprised CoA chief Rai about problems that can arise due to Rathour's appointment even it has been Dravid's recommendation.
While Karim was unavailable for a comment despite being contacted, a senior official did raise a few questions about the process.
"It is not Mr Rai's duty to know who is related to whom. Did Karim intimate him about a potential conflict of interest situation? That's the first question.
"The second question here is whether a due diligence was followed by Karim while appointing Rathour and Yadav? Were proper interviews conducted on basis of advertisement on the board's site?" he further questioned.
"Last and final point is that if he will work on a temporary basis with U19s, and he is also supposed to work at the NCA as batting consultant, so does that mean a separate batting coach (for NCA) will be appointed later."
Rathour, a prolific run-getter for Punjab and later Himachal Pradesh in Ranji Trophy played a handful of Tests in 1996 in England and South Africa. He was also a national selector till 2016 and during his tenure a couple of inspired selections happened in the senior national team including Punjab's Barinder Sran and Himachal Pradesh's Rishi Dhawan.
A little known left-arm pacer Sran was picked for ODIs in Australia purely on basis of talent with no domestic performance to show for his efforts. Sran later faded into oblivion and now finds it difficult to get into Punjab first XI. Dhawan still takes lot of wickets on seamer-friendly Dharamsala tracks but is not considered good enough at the international level.