Gautam Gambhir meets Jay Shah as lengthy chat after KKR's win in IPL final sparks speculation of India head coach job | Crickit
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Gautam Gambhir meets Jay Shah as lengthy chat after KKR's win in IPL final sparks speculation of India head coach job

May 27, 2024 08:43 AM IST

Gautam Gambhir has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Rahul Dravid as the India head coach.

Kolkata Knight Riders mentor Gautam Gambhir was a happy man on Sunday night at the MA Chidambaram Stadium after his team beat Sunrisers Hyderabad to lift the IPL trophy for the third time in history. And he was a busy man as well as he celebrated with each of the KKR players and also obliged with photographs. Amid the celebrations, he took out time to meet and greet BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who was present for the IPL final, and was later seen having a lengthy chat which sparked speculations over his India head coach job.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) co-owners Juhi Chawla, Jay Mehta, mentor Gautam Gambhir and BCCI Secretary Jay Shah after the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 final cricket match B)(PTI)
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) co-owners Juhi Chawla, Jay Mehta, mentor Gautam Gambhir and BCCI Secretary Jay Shah after the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 final cricket match B)(PTI)

Gambhir has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Rahul Dravid as head coach. The India legend's tenure ends after the 2024 T20 World Cup in June. With Dravid not willing to reapply for the position, BCCI called for applicants to replace him for the high-profile job. The contract is slated to last until the end of the 2027 ODI World Cup.

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A few Australian legends were linked with the India head coach position over the course of BCCI's search, with Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer being the options, but both denied applying for the role. Moreover, Shah clarified that BCCI never approached the duo for the job and added that the board wants an Indian to take up the role, given that he is more acclimatised and aware of the domestic cricket action than a foreign coach would know.

If Shah's indication wasn't enough to hint towards Gambhir being the favourite for the job, his gesture on Sunday definitely did as he met the 2011 World Cup winner, congratulated him, clicked photographs and had a lengthy chat on the sidelines of KKR's celebration in Chennai.

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According to a report in Dainik Jagran on Saturday, Gambhir, who is interested in replacing Dravid, is yet to submit his application for the India head coach job, with a possible meeting scheduled with some BCCI top brass in Chennai after the IPL final. But the moment he does, BCCI will officially announce him as Dravid's successor.

However, Gambhir has found himself in a bit of a dilemma with the report adding that he needs to have a word with KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan before applying for the job. The Bollywood superstar played a key role in convincing Gambhir to return to KKR as the mentor from Lucknow Super Giants before the start of the IPL 2024 season and urged him to manage the team for 10 years, while handing him a blank cheque saying that he is willing to pay whatever amount he demands.

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