Gautam Gambhir only applicant for India head coach, will be interviewed today; BCCI to name new selector too: Report | Crickit
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Gautam Gambhir only applicant for India head coach, will be interviewed today; BCCI to name new selector too: Report

Jun 18, 2024 10:35 AM IST

Gautam Gambhir, the only applicant for India's head coach role, is set to be interviewed by the Cricket Advisory Committee on Tuesday (June 18).

Gautam Gambhir is set to be selected as India's next head coach unopposed as the former India cricketer is reportedly the only applicant for the role, according to a report in The Indian Express. BCCI invited applicants in the first week of May, 2024 after current head coach Rahul Dravid expressed his unwillingness to continue as India's head coach after the ongoing T20 World Cup. The deadline to apply for India's head coach role was May 27. It was earlier reported no very few high-profile names had shown interest in taking up India's head coach role, mainly due to the stringent travel required for 10 months in a year.

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)

It has now become clear that Gambhir is the only applicant. The report added that the former India opener is set to be interviewed by the Cricket Advisory Committee on Tuesday. Gambhir will appear in front of CAC Ashok Malhotra, Jatin Paranjape, and Sulakshana Naik via Zoom call.

While Gambhir was always the BCCI's first choice, the absence of other applicants is a crude reminder that once a sought-after and high-profile job in world cricket now has very few takers despite the lucrative remuneration offered by the board. Big names are more than happy with the short stints at franchise leagues, which pay well and leave them enough time to spend with families.

Gambhir's stocks as the possible replacement for Dravid after the former opener did a fantastic job in reviving the Kolkata Knight Riders. After returning to the team he once led for seven years, Gambhir was instrumental in building a healthy team environment. This was reflected in KKR's performance in IPL 2024 as they went on to lift the trophy after 10 years. This after, they ended up as the table toppers at the end of the group stage for the first time.

After the interview, the CAC will give its recommendations to the board. The official announcement is likely to be later. “We are conducting an interview session for candidates for the post of head coach and selector. The CAC will submit its recommendation to the BCCI and the board will make an official announcement thereafter,” a BCCI source confirmed.

Like every other head coach, Gambhir will be given the option of choosing his own support staff. In all likelihood, Team India will travel to Zimbabwe with an entirely new set of support staff members as it is unlikely that Gambhir would continue with batting coach Vikram Rathour, bowling coach Paras Mhambrey and fielding coach T Dilip. Like Dravid, their contracts also end after the T20 World Cup.

Gambhir's term is set to be till the end of 2027.

BCCI to name new selector

Apart from interviewing the only candidate for the head coach role, the CAC will conduct interviews for the vacant selector's post to replace former India pacer Salil Ankola. The new selector is likely to be from the North Zone as Ankola and chief selector Ajit Agarkar are both from the West Zone.

There is no written constitution regarding the zonal-wise appointment of selectors, but this is a practice followed by the board for the last two decades. Agarkar was appointed in July last year and replaced Chetan Sharma who had stepped down after being in the centre of a sting operation. Ankola was already a selector when Agarkar took over.

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