BCCI to neglect deadline as Gautam Gambhir mum on India head coach role, no notable foreign names apply: Report | Crickit
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BCCI to neglect deadline as Gautam Gambhir mum on India head coach role, no notable foreign names apply: Report

May 29, 2024 11:08 AM IST

BCCI is ready to bide time to find India's next head coach as there is still no clarity on Gautam Gambhir and no other noted foreign name has applied.

BCCI is in no hurry to release the list of applicants for Team India's head coach role or even talk about it. The May 27 (Monday) deadline (for applicants) is not giving the Indian cricket board sleepless nights. They are ready to bide time to find a suitable candidate. Rahul Dravid's contract ends after the T20 World Cup. He has no intention of continuing, sparking neverending speculation about his successor.

Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla (2R), along with her family members pose next to Jay Shah (L), BCCI and KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir (C) at the end of the IPL 2024(AFP)
Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla (2R), along with her family members pose next to Jay Shah (L), BCCI and KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir (C) at the end of the IPL 2024(AFP)

The BCCI, however, is not concerned with media reports and social media chatter. They might play the waiting game even after the T20 World Cup ends, as the immediate assignment is a series against Zimbabwe, where all the senior players will anyway be rested. The team can be coached by the NCA staff headed by VVS Laxman.

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"The deadline is fine, but the BCCI brass wouldn't mind taking some more time before reaching a decision. Right now, the team will be busy with World T20 for the better part of the month of June. After that, seniors will be rested from tours of Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, where any of the NCA-based senior coaches can accompany the team. So what's the hurry," a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The PTI report added that Laxman was BCCI's first choice to replace his long-time Dravid, but the former India batter was unwilling to get associated with the senior team.

A lot of foreign names like DC head coach Ricky Ponting, LSG head coach Justin Langer, CSK head coach Stephen Fleming and MI director of cricket Mahela Jayawardene were floated, but none of them has reportedly applied. "It is understood that no notable foreign name has applied for the post, especially after BCCI secretary Jay Shah made it clear that the Board is looking at someone who has risen through the ranks and knows the domestic structure," the report added.

The non-stop travel for 10 months a year is believed to be the biggest roadblock behind the lukewarm response of big names. It was different in the pre-IPL era, where noted former cricketers wanted to get associated with Indian cricket. But now, they are more than happy with their roles with respective franchises in the IPL.

Gautam Gambhir frontrunner but…

The only name of pedigree still in the game is Gautam Gambhir. The stocks of the former India opener rose after Kolkata Knight Riders won their IPL this season under his guidance. However, it is still unclear whether the KKR mentor has officially applied for the role.

"While both interested parties haven't said anything on record, the BCCI, it seems, doesn't have too many quality options available at the moment," the report added.

Also, KKR principal owner Shah Rukh Khan shares a deep bond with Gambhir, and it is not easy to leave an IPL team that has been a part of the former India opener's identity.

Another aspect that needs to be investigated seriously is how senior India players, currently in New York, feel about Gambhir's potential replacement for Rahul Dravid.

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