T20 World Cup 2024: MS Dhoni to play a crucial role in picking India's next Head Coach

Published - 21 May 2024, 10:35 AM | Updated - 21 May 2024, 10:40 AM

MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming
MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming (Image Credits: Twitter)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reportedly seeking former Indian skipper MS Dhoni's assistance in selecting Team India's next head coach after Rahul Dravid's tenure. The BCCI is keen on appointing Stephen Fleming, with MS Dhoni's involvement being potentially decisive.

Rahul Dravid will step down as Team India's head coach after the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024, scheduled to be played in June. The Indian Cricket Board invited applications for Rahul Dravid's successor on Monday, May 13. Interested candidates must submit their applications by May 27.

According to reports, Stephen Fleming, the longest-serving coach in the Indian Premier League (IPL), was the top candidate to replace Rahul Dravid as Team India's head coach after the T20 World Cup. However, the former New Zealand captain has expressed hesitation to take up the role.

Stephen Fleming has been the head coach of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) since 2009. He is also in charge of the franchise's teams across different leagues, including the Joburg Super Kings in SA20 and the Texas Super Kings in Major League Cricket. He is at the helm of the Southern Brave in The Hundred.

The 51-year-old's current schedule is less demanding than the international cricket calendar. The short duration of these tournaments allows him significant family time. The former cricketer will be required to be with the Indian team for almost 10 months a year if he accepts BCCI's offer.

Stephen Fleming Hasn't Said No - BCCI

The BCCI is still in discussions with Stephen Fleming and hasn't ruled him out as a candidate for the head coach position. According to a BCCI source, MS Dhoni could play a crucial role in convincing Fleming to accept the offer if needed.

"Fleming hasn't said no. He has expressed his concerns about the tenure of the contract, which is nothing unusual. Even Rahul Dravid wasn't keen in the beginning. He was persuaded. It shouldn't be a surprise if the same thing happens with Fleming. And who better than MS Dhoni to do the job?" a BCCI source told Hindustan Times.

Dhoni and Fleming have shared a close bond since the beginning of the IPL. Fleming played under Dhoni's leadership during the inaugural season in 2008. They remained together even when CSK was suspended for two years. Both were part of the Rising Pune Supergiant team during that period.

The BCCI decision-makers believe Dhoni could convince Fleming to accept the coaching role. They believe that initiating conversations with Dhoni during the IPL might not have been the ideal approach, but now it may be worth a shot.

"Opening channels with Dhoni during the IPL was not the right thing to do, but now it may be worth a shot," the source added.

The BCCI wants the head coach to lead the transition, with key players nearing the end of their careers. The new head coach will be with the team for tournaments, including the 2025 ODI Champions Trophy, the 2026 T20 World Cup, the 2027 ODI World Cup, and the World Test Championship cycles in 2025 and 2027.

Also read: Swapnil Singh reveals how Royal Challengers Bengaluru's strategy helped them secure playoff berth

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MS Dhoni Stephen Fleming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 India National Cricket Team BCCI Desert T20 Japan Cricket League T20