Gautam Gambhir's India head coach fate hinges on ‘private conversation’ with Shah Rukh Khan: Report | Crickit
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Gautam Gambhir's India head coach fate hinges on ‘private conversation’ with Shah Rukh Khan: Report

May 25, 2024 02:32 PM IST

Shah Rukh Khan's role can be crucial if Gautam Gambhir and BCCI decide to take things forward for India head coach role.

The deadline to apply for the Indian cricket team's head coach role ends in two days. There has been no confirmation on the names of those who have applied for the high-profile job, but former India opener Gautam Gambhir appears to be the clear favourite at the moment. Gambhir was perceived as a strong candidate from the beginning anyway. His, after all, was the only prominent Indian name doing rounds. But after BCCI secretary Jay Shah clarified that the Indian cricket board did not approach any former Australian cricketer, ruling out the possibility of Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer landing the role, Gambhir's stocks have risen further.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) co-owner and Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan embraces the team mentor Gautam Gambhir(ANI)
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) co-owner and Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan embraces the team mentor Gautam Gambhir(ANI)

Shah also indicated that Rahul Dravid's replacement as India's head coach after the T20 World Cup in the Americas will likely be an Indian who understands the domestic structure. "It's crucial that our coach has an in-depth knowledge of our domestic cricket framework to truly elevate Team India to the next level," Shah said.

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Unlike most other foreign coaches, who have expressed their reluctance to get involved with the Indian cricket team until the end of 2027 due to their extremely busy schedules, Gambhir is ready to take on the challenge. According to a report in The Times of India, there has been no formal approach from BCCI to Gambhir, but the former opening batter has no issues.

"Gambhir may not be averse to taking it up. He is that kind of character who never shies away from a challenge," the report quoted a source as saying.

Shah Rukh Khan can be deal-breaker between Gambhir and BCCI

But there is another catch. Even if BCCI and Gambhir come to a deal, getting the left-hander on board might not be easy. Gambhir is the mentor of the Kolkata Knight Riders. He was brought back into the team by owner Shah Rukh Khan and is believed to have been paid handsomely. Gambhir, a two-time IPL-winning captain with KKR, was the mentor of LSG for the last two seasons.

Shah Rukh reportedly contacted Gambhir last year and convinced him to return to KKR. After Gambhir's return, KKR performed really well and advanced to the IPL 2024 final as the most dominant team in the tournament. If they win the IPL on Sunday, it would be another feather in Gambhir and KKR's cap.

The KKR think tank would not want to let go of their mentor after such a successful campaign. Gambhir, too, would think twice before risking his outstanding relationship with SRH.

The report adds that if Gambhir and BCCI officially get talking, SRK's role could become crucial. "If it comes to that, it will be decided in a private conversation between Shah Rukh Khan and Gambhir," the source said.

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