Lack of quality options forces BCCI to ignore deadline as Gautam Gambhir remains quiet on head coach job - Reports

Updated - 29 May 2024, 03:19 PM

Jay Shah and Gautam Gambhir
Jay Shah and Gautam Gambhir. Image Credit: X

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has adopted a patient approach regarding the selection of Team India's next head coach, as they are not in a hurry to release the list of applicants. The deadline for applications, which was set for May 27, passed without causing any concern to BCCI.

With Rahul Dravid's contract as India’s head coach set to expire after the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024, speculation about his successor has been rife, and Gautam Gambhir emerged as the top contender to take over the high-profile job.

However, the BCCI remains unfazed by media reports and social media discussions, as they want to take their time to find a suitable candidate. But now it is being said that there will be no immediate appointment of the coach after the T20 World Cup 2024, with KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan likely to have influence on Gambhir’s call.

BCCI delays appointment of India's head coach

While the BCCI and Gambhir kept tight lips on the developments despite the deadline of May 27 over, the latest report revealed that the Indian cricket team may be without the head coach during their Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe tours. 

The senior players of the Indian team are expected to be rested for these tours, which will allow the BCCI to delay the appointment of a new head coach as the team can be temporarily managed by the National Cricket Academy (NCA) coaching staff, headed by VVS Laxman.

Meanwhile, Gambhir's stock has risen after guiding the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to their third IPL trophy. However, neither the BCCI nor Gambhir have commented publicly on the matter. On the other hand, the BCCI reportedly has limited quality options at the moment for the top job.

It is being said that no prominent foreign candidates have applied for India’s head coach role, especially after BCCI Secretary Jay Shah declared the preference for a coach familiar with India's domestic cricket structure to take Indian cricket to the next level.

'BCCI brass wouldn't mind taking some more time in selecting head coach'

Well, VVS Laxman was reportedly considered by the BCCI to replace Dravid, but he has shown no interest in taking up the full-time position, which demands a commitment of around ten months a year away from home.

This leaves the BCCI with the task of continuing their search for a suitable head coach for the Men in Blue, and they can extend their hunt beyond the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 if necessary.

A BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity: “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.

"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.”

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BCCI Gautam Gambhir VVS Laxman India National Cricket Team