'Desh ke liye karna hai': Gautam Gambhir, Jay Shah's conversation as BCCI's search for next India head coach almost over | Crickit
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'Desh ke liye karna hai': Gautam Gambhir, Jay Shah's conversation as BCCI's search for next India head coach almost over

May 28, 2024 08:30 PM IST

BCCI secretary Jay Shah recently met Gautam Gambhir after KKR's IPL title win in Chennai. They two had a lengthy chat in Chepauk amid KKR's celebrations.

The deadline to submit the application for the post of the Indian men's cricket team head coach ended on Monday, but BCCI has yet to announce the candidates who have applied for the role or reveal the date for the official announcement of Rahul Dravid's successor. Well, the board still has until the end of the 2024 T20 World Cup, which begins from June 1 onwards, to make the announcement, which is when Dravid's contract ends.

Jay Shah (L), secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) poses next to Kolkata Knight Riders' team mentor Gautam Gambhir (AFP)
Jay Shah (L), secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) poses next to Kolkata Knight Riders' team mentor Gautam Gambhir (AFP)

Through the course of BCCI's search over the last few months, a number of foreign options were linked to the high-profile job, which included the likes of Stephen Fleming, Ricky Ponting, and Justin Langer. While all three declined the offer owing to staying committed to the Indian team till the end of the 2027 ODI World Cup, with reports indicating that BCCI was strongly in favour of roping in the New Zealand legend, who is the incumbent Chennai Super Kings head coach, board secretary Jay Shah revealed that both the former Australia cricketers were not approached by the BCCI.

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Shah further clarified that BCCI is eager to sign an Indian as a head coach, given that the veteran player would be aware of the domestic structure. This is when Gautam Gambhir emerged as the frontrunner, with his stocks going even higher after he inspired the Kolkata Knight Riders side to an IPL title win as a mentor.

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Shah even met Gambhir on the sidelines of KKR's celebration in Chennai after the win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final, and the duo had a lengthy chat while also meeting BCCI president Roger Binny, which further added to the speculations around the India head coach job.

On Tuesday, after the deadline date for submitting the application, a report in Cricbuzz hinted towards the crux of Shah and Gambhir's meeting. It said both believe that 'desh ke liye karna hai (we must do it for the country).'

The report further highlighted Gambhir's nationalism as it recalled a conversation between the former India cricketer and Indian industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla during a post-match party after India's 2011 ODI World Cup win, organised by then President Pratibha Patil at Mumbai's Governor's bungalow. Gambhir, who is also a Member of Parliament since 2019, was heard saying how much he missed being in the Indian army and guarding the country at the border.

Despite Gambhir emerging as the favourite for the India head coach role, the veteran cricketer also needs to have a conversation with KKR co-owner Shah Rukh, who play a key role in convincing him for the mentorship role and bringing him from Lucknow Super Giants, where he spent two seasons. A report earlier last week in Dainik Jagran added that Shah Rukh urged Gambhir to stay with KKR for 10 season while offering a blank cheque to him.

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