Former greats Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman were today inducted into the BCCI's newly-constituted cricket advisory committee to guide the Board and the national team on various "progressive steps" needed for future challenges.
"The President of the BCCI, Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya, has nominated Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, Mr. Sourav Ganguly and Mr VVS Laxman as esteemed members of the Cricket Advisory Committee of the BCCI, with immediate effect," BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur said in a statement.
"These legendary cricketers have accepted the invitation to be part of this Committee, which will advise the BCCI on various progressive steps which are needed to be taken, that will enable Indian Cricket to be better prepared for the challenges of the future," the Board statement added.
Spelling out their role in the committee, the BCCI said the three legends' guidance will be sought in preparing the national team for gruelling overseas assignments besides strengthening the domestic structure.
"Areas of immediate focus will be to provide guidance to our national team as we set out to enhance our performance on overseas engagements, provide direction to improve our talent pathway and take steps to strengthen domestic cricket to better prepare our players to handle the rigours of International Cricket," the BCCI stated.
BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya said he was confident about the trio's ability to take Indian cricket to new heights.
"I am happy to note that our eminent cricketers have come forward to lend their experience and insights as we work towards a common goal of taking Indian Cricket to greater heights. The coming generations are bound to benefit from the guidance that will be provided by these luminaries and will go a long way in strengthening our existing system," Dalmiya said.
BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur echoed the sentiment and thanked the three for accepting the BCCI's offer.
"On behalf of all my colleagues in the BCCI, I thank Sachin, Sourav and Laxman for having accepted our invitation to be part of this prestigious committee and I am confident that their invaluable advice will help Indian Cricket regain its leadership position in all formats of the game," he said.
"Their participation augurs well for the future of the game in our country and the noble intention to 'give back to the game', is commendable," Thakur said.
The 42-year-old Tendulkar played a whopping 200 Tests (15921 runs) and 463 ODIs (18426 runs) apart from a T20 International before retiring in 2013.
The 43-year-old Ganguly played in 113 Tests and 311 ODIs for India apart from leading the country to the final of 2003 World Cup. The 40-year-old Laxman played in 134 Tests and 86 ODIs.
While there had been lot of speculation of late regarding Ganguly's appointment as chief coach or Team Director, his appointment in advisory panel might mean that either Ravi Shastri will continue in his current role or a new chief coach and support staff will be taking charge.
According to BCCI sources, the Indian cricketers can seek technical advise from the trio and the Board wants batsmen to specifically speak to Tendulkar before any tough international assignment.
Ganguly might well be consulted for preparing a blueprint for success of the team overseas with Laxman working on the bench-strength and the new talent coming in through the system.
The Indian team will be leaving for Bangladesh on June 7 from Kolkata.
Thakur said the Board has identified the areas in which the three former players' involvement will be sought.
"I have identified three four areas, their advice is very important. They have committed themselves to the BCCI. They played so many Test matches for India and their inputs will be very useful in helping us improve our overseas performance," he said.
The move was also welcomed by IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla.
"This was decided in the previous working committee and it has been implemented now," he said.
Dalmiya said a meeting of the new committee would be called soon to chalk a way forward for Indian cricket.
"Considering the enormous contribution of the three icons, Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, Mr. Sourav Ganguly and Mr. V.V.S. Laxman to Indian Cricket and having served the game with supreme proficiency and at the highest levels, it is a proud privilege for the BCCI that they have accorded their consents to be a part of the Cricket Advisory Committee. They would be recognized and acknowledged as 'Cricket Advisors' to the Board," he said.
"We, at the BCCI, are certain that their kind participation would not only add immense value to the Board but would also go a long way in taking Indian Cricket forward. A meeting of the Cricket Advisory Committee would be convened shortly to set the ball rolling," he added.