Saturday, June 15, 2024

BCCI has not approached any Australian cricketer for Team India coach role: Jay Shah

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Mumbai: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah on Friday rejected claims that the BCCI has approached any former Australian cricketer to take over the job of India’s head coach, a position which will be left vacant by the exit of Rahul Dravid after the T20 World Cup next month.

While Dravid has reportedly told the BCCI that he is not interested in a third stint, former Australian players Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer have claimed that they have turned down approaches for the high-profile position.

“Neither I nor the BCCI have approached any former Australian cricketer with a coaching offer. The reports circulating in certain media sections are completely incorrect,” Shah said in a statement.

Both Ponting and Langer are involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as the head coaches of Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) respectively.

“Finding the right coach for our national team is a meticulous and thorough process. We are focused on identifying individuals who possess a deep understanding of the Indian cricket structure and have risen through the ranks,” Shah said, dropping hints that Dravid’s successor could well be an Indian.

Shah also said that having in-depth knowledge of Indian domestic cricket will be one of the important criteria for appointing the next coach.

He said the understanding would be crucial to “truly elevate Team India to the next level.”

Shah described the position of India’s head coach as the most prestigious job in international cricket, saying it demands high level of professionalism given the kind of support the national side enjoys.

“When we talk about international cricket, no role is more prestigious than that of the head coach of the Indian cricket team. Team India commands the largest fan base globally, enjoying support that is truly unrivalled,” he said.

“Our rich history, passion for the game make this one of the most lucrative jobs in the world. The role demands a high level of professionalism as one gets to nurture some of the best cricketers in the world and an assembly line of talented cricketers to follow.

“Catering to the aspirations of a billion fans is a huge honour and the BCCI will pick the right candidate, capable of propelling Indian cricket forward,” Shah added.

Former batter Gautam Gambhir, who is mentoring Kolkata Knight Riders right now in the IPL, is speculated to be among the top contenders for the post. 

The BCCI has set May 27 (Monday) as the last date for filing applications for the job.

Ponting had claimed on Thursday that he was approached to take over the role but said that he declined as it did not fit with his “lifestyle” right now.

Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant with head coach Ricky Ponting. File photo: IANS


Ponting told the ICC Review, “I’ve seen a lot of reports about it. Normally these things pop up on social media before you even know about them, but there were a few little one-on-one conversations during the IPL, just to get a level of interest from me as to whether I would do it.”

“I’d love to be a senior coach of a national team, but with the other things that I have in my life and wanting to have a bit of time at home everyone knows if you take a job working with the Indian team you can’t be involved in an IPL team, so it would take that out of it as well,” he said.

Taking up the job of coaching India also implies spending 10-11 months away from home but Ponting said his family seemed ready for it.

“…I had a whisper to my son about it, and I said, ‘Dad’s been offered the Indian coaching job’ and he said, ‘Just take it, dad, we would love to move over there for the next couple of years'” he said.

“That’s how much they love being over there and the culture of cricket in India, but right now it probably doesn’t exactly fit into my lifestyle,” Ponting said.

Meanwhile, Langer, who had remained noncommittal about applying for India coaching role after IPL clash between LSG and Mumbai Indians, said he would “never say never” but at the same time revealed receiving crucial advice from LSG skipper K L Rahul.

Langer told BBC Stumped Podcast, “It would be an amazing job. I also know that it’s an all-encompassing role, and having done it for four years with the Australian team, honestly, it’s exhausting. And that’s the Australian job.

“You never say never. And the pressure of doing it in India I was talking to K L Rahul and he said, ‘You know, if you think there’s pressure and politics in an IPL team, multiply that by a thousand, (that is) coaching India. That was a good bit of advice, I guess,” Langer said.

“It would be an awesome job, but not for me at the moment,” he added.

Former England and current Royal Challengers Bengaluru head coach Andy Flower had also ruled himself out of the race saying he is happy being involved in franchise cricket for now.

Chennai Super Kings chief executive Kasi Viswanathan has done the same for Stephen Fleming claiming the former New Zealand captain won’t be keen on taking a job which requires him to work ‘nine-ten months a year’.

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