BCCI unlikely to appoint a foreign coach as Ravi Shastri's replacement

  • Top BCCI source reveals a former India player will take over the reins of the team but ruled out possibilities of Anil Kumble being in the fray for the top job. 
Ravi Shastri's tenure as India coach ends after T20 World Cup. (Getty)
Ravi Shastri's tenure as India coach ends after T20 World Cup. (Getty)
Published on Oct 13, 2021 03:12 PM IST
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By Rasesh Mandani

The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) hunt for the next head coach is going to start and end with an Indian name. Ravi Shastri’s long tenure as India’s head coach comes to an end after the October-November T20 World Cup.   

Although seven of the eight Indian Premier League franchises have got foreign coaches in command, it is learnt as far as the Indian national team goes, the board does not want to appoint an overseas professional as head coach. “The new head coach will be an Indian,” a BCCI source involved in the process said. “Unlike the IPL, the Indian coaching job is a round-the-year job and man-management works out a lot better with an Indian coach.”   

The successful overseas coaches in the IPL, like Ricky Ponting and Mahela Jayawardene, are known to be unwilling to spend the amount of time required on the road in a high-pressure job like India coach. Four overseas coaches--John Wright, Greg Chappell, Gary Kirsten and Duncan Fletcher have served as India head coach in the past. Chappell’s two-year tenure was the most troubled which ended with the Australian getting the sack after India’s pre-mature exit in the 2007 ODI World Cup. On the other hand, the John Wright years, with Sourav Ganguly as captain, and Gary Kirsten's tenure with MS Dhoni as captain are two of the defining, and most successful eras in Indian cricket. 

NO RETURN OF ANIL KUMBLE 

The board is also ruling out the possibility of Anil Kumble’s return as the head coach. “We have had conversations with leading Indian players. Although, their suggestions are not binding, there is no point in creating a potential disturbance in the dressing room,” the same BCCI official, who did not wish to be named, said, pointing to the acrimonious past between Kumble and Virat Kohli.

Kumble served as India’s head coach for a year in 2016-17 before calling it quits following a bitter fallout with Kohli. In his letter of resignation, he had called his partnership with Kohli "untenable". Kumble’s less than impressive coaching record in the IPL is being cited as another reason.   

Entries inviting applicants for the top job will be out soon. However, the board has been in informal deliberations with prospective candidates for some time now. VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan are three leading names with IPL coaching experience who could be considered.

The board has also been in touch with NCA director Rahul Dravid, who himself is unwilling to take up the top job at this stage. Dravid did go to Sri Lanka as head coach in July, while Shastri was away with the Test team in England. The BCCI has discussed the possibility of using Dravid’s expertise for periodic overseas assignments with the Indian team in the future.   

With Shastri’s exit, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar will also not be offered contract extensions. A call on batting coach Vikram Rathore’s continuation will be taken in consultation with the new head coach.

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Sunday, October 24, 2021