From his unbelievable international debut in New Zealand to take his Audi for a spin in 1985, his career as a cricketer has been beyond phenomenal.
However, Ravi Shastri, who was also an integral part of the 1983 team which lifted the Prudential World Cup and created history, has not been your typical good boy and has had his fair share of naughty deeds during his days as both a player and as the head coach of Virat Kohli’s Men in Blue.
Here are 5 Ravi Shastri controversies that his die-hard fans would probably want to forget:
Reported For Underage Drinking
During his days as a member of the U-19 team, Shastri was caught drinking beer by his warden. After confronting Shastri and telling him that he was going to report him to the higher authorities, the warden was walking away with the beer bottle half full when Shastri called him back and poured it in his glass before letting him go. He confirmed and narrated the story in an episode of Breakfast With Champions.
In October 2019, Ravi Shastri, who was reappointed as the head coach of Team India recently, was spotted taking a nap in the middle of a Test match between India and South Africa in Ranchi. The images of him dozing off so blissfully became a viral meme and Twitter users had a grand day trolling the man. According to Mid-Day Shastri responded to the haters by saying: “Enjoy, Enjoy….I don’t care what people say. I don’t miss a single ball.”
Incredibly, this wasn’t the first time Shastri was caught getting some shuteye while his team was out there on the field. Back in 2018, during a Test match between India and England, Shastri could be seen sleeping and Harbhajan Singh trolled him on commentary. “Ravi Shastri having a nap there. Wake up, Ravi!” said Harbhajan as other commentators around him burst into a laugh.
Virat Kohli’s Yes-Man
With Virat Kohli as the captain of the Indian cricket team, showing his open support to Ravi Shastri as the Indian head coach despite a horrible show at the ICC tournaments and a lack of decent middle order batting under his leadership, many went on to call him the former’s yes-man. The situation got so out of hand that the skipper had to openly address this issue and called it “agenda driven”.
In the episode of India Today Inspiration Kohli said: “I think most of these things are agenda-driven. I don’t know who’s why or what for, but to accept lies in that manner, it could not be anything else but agenda-driven.”
Rivalry With Sourav Ganguly
Two of the most influential people in Indian cricket, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Head Coach Ravi Shastri do not like each other one bit and they have been very vocal about it in the past. Back in 2016 when Shastri failed to get appointed as the Head Coach over Anil Kumble, he blamed the ‘Prince of Kolkata’ for it and called the selection process ‘disrespectful’.
Ganguly reacted to Shastri’s comments by saying: “If Ravi Shastri feels that Sourav Ganguly was responsible for him not being the India coach, he is living in a fool’s world.”
Anil Kumble’s Resignation As Head Coach
There was nothing pretty about the way Anil Kumble resigned from the position of Indian Head Coach, directly blaming Virat Kohli as the reason behind his decision. Following the incident, Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji wrote an email in which she revealed how “rules were broken” to replace Kumble with Shastri.
According to ESPNcricinfo, Edulji also revealed that Kohli would often send messages to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri about Kumble which eventually led to him stepping down.
She also called out the selection process behind Shastri’s appointment. Even though the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) had advocated Kumble as the clear choice for the role, BCCI extended the deadline for applications. That is when Shastri applied and signed the contract as head coach until 2019. Fishy, fishy.