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New India Cricket Head Coach by Month-end: Shah

New India Cricket Head Coach by Month-end: Shah

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NEW DELHI, July 1: With the term of Rahul Dravid ending with the T20 World Cup tournament held in the US and West Indies, the Indian cricket team will have a new head coach by the end of July with India’s Sri Lanka tour.

Stating this on Monday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) general secretary Jay Shah said two names had been shortlisted for the top job. Last month, the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) interviewed candidates for the role with the likes of Gautam Gambhir and WV Raman in the running.

Rahul Dravid’s tenure ended with India’s title winning run at the recent 2024 T20 World Cup but the new coach will only take charge when India travel to Sri Lanka for a limited-overs series later this month.

Prior to that, an Indian squad, led by Shubman Gill, is set to square-off with Zimbabwe in a five-match T20I bilateral series starting later this week. However, for the Zimbabwe tour, VVS Laxman, the current director of the National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru, will be in charge.

“Both coach and selector appointments will be made shortly,” Shah said. “CAC has interviewed and shortlisted two names and after reaching Mumbai whatever they have decided we will go by that. VVS Laxman is going to Zimbabwe but new coach will join from Sri Lanka series.”

Dravid signed off on a high, guiding Indian team, led by Rohit Sharma to the title as they beat South Africa in pulsating finale in Barbados. It wasn’t just the end of Dravid’s tenure but also for Rohit, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja with the trio announcing they have played their last T20I for India.

Several high-profile names were said to be in running to succeed Dravid including Justin Langer, Stephen Fleming, Ricky Ponting. However, in all likelihood, two-time world cup winner Gambhir will be named as the new head coach.

Gambhir’s stock rose thanks to a successful stint with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) during IPL 2024 where he was the mentor of the franchise as it won the title in a dominant fashion. Prior to that, he was mentor of Lucknow Super Giants for two seasons with the team qualifying for the playoffs on both occasions.

Many wondered why Dravid did not choose to reapply for the position. BCCI Secretary Jay Shah revealed the reason behind Dravid’s decision and said the board did not want to ‘force him’ in the matter.  “He told me that due to family commitments he wants to quit and we respect his decision. I didn’t want to force him to extend,” Shah told reporters in Barbados.

Shah also praised Dravid for his contribution to Indian cricket – first as a cricketer and then as an administrator and the head coach of the Indian cricket team. “Rahul bhai has served Indian cricket for the past five and half years. He was director of the National Cricket Academy for three years and then for the past two and half years, he served as head coach of Team India,” said Shah.

“Rahul Dravid’s role is as important as Rohit Sharma in this T20 World Cup title triumph. He is a man, who took the team to the 2023 ODI World Cup final and didn’t wanted to leave because he wanted to finish the job,” he said.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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