Dravid's decision to step down sends BCCI into a tizzy

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New Delhi, Sep 14 (UNI) Rahul Dravid today sent the BCCI officials into a tizzy with his sudden and unexpected decision to step down from Team India captaincy.

The BCCI top brass were hardpressed to explain Dravid's sudden and surprising move, saying the decision must be based on personal reasons and taken after great deliberation.

However, it seemed that the BCCI has not given up the hope to persuade Dravid to reconsider his decision.

''All of us will talk to Dravid once again and ask him to consider his decision. In case he declines, then we will have to decide about the new captain,'' said board secretary Niranjan Shah.

But, it was obvious that most of the officials, including selection committee chairman Dilip Vengsarkar, were caught off guard.

When confronted with the news by the media at Ferozeshah Kotla, Vengsarkar said, ''This is a news to me. I am not being informed about this as yet.'' ''He is a great captain and we have done well under his captaincy in the recently-concluded series in Ireland and England,'' he said.

The news about Dravid's decision to step down was broken by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

''Rahul Dravid met Sharad Pawar at Delhi yesterday and expressed his desire to step down as the captain of the Indian team and requested that he should not be considered for the job from the ensuing Australia series,'' said a BCCI release.

The release further said Dravid has assured that he would extend his full co-operation to his successor and contribute as a batsman and a senior player.

''He wanted to concentrate on his game,'' the release added.

BCCI secretary who earler sent this release said, ''Rahul wanted to enjoy his cricket as a player only and that is the reason he told board president Sharad Pawar to relieve him from the burden of captaincy.

He was lavish in his praise for Dravid saying he was a great captain.

Shah who was also present at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground along with Vengsarkar to witnees India 'A' four-day match against South Africa 'A' side further said that the selection committee will be meeting on September 18 to select India A team for a ODI series against the visiting South Africa side and also the senior team for the coming ODI series against Australia.

He did not rule the possibility of a new player taking up the reigns of Team India saying, '' A new player can also be the captain.

With experience he will learn and can become better.'' Meanwhile, BCCI vice president Rajiv Shukla said Rahul had expressed his desire to quit and has written a letter to the Board president in this regard.

Shukla, who was the manager of team for the five-match ODI series in England said the captain did not give any indication during the tour that he wanted to step down.

''I think his decision is personal. He must have taken it after great deliberation,'' he said.

''I think Rahul was feeling burderned as a player and captain so he wanted to quit the post,'' he added.

UNI

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