'If Rahul Dravid wants an extension, give him. Or else...': Gautam Gambhir's blunt statement on next India coach
Gautam Gambhir has said that he feels that teams like India or Pakistan should always be coached by an Indian or a Pakistani respectively.
How long Rahul Dravid will continue to be India's head coach or not remains uncertain. While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had said that it has decided to extend Dravid's contract post the 2023 World Cup, the former India captain himself told reporters that nothing had been signed officially yet.
Dravid's long-time India teammate and the National Cricket Academy's (NCA) head of cricket VVS Laxman is coaching the team in their ongoing five-match T20I series against Australia. There was speculation about whether Laxman would be made head coach on a permanent basis before the BCCI's statement about Dravid. Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has said that regardless of who holds the position in the future, it should be an Indian.
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Speaking on Sportskeeda with Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram, Gambhir said that it should always be an Indian or a Pakistani at the helm of teams representing the two nations. “Countries like India and Pakistan should be coached by an Indian or a Pakistani. When I had said people asked, but we won the World Cup under Gary Kirsten,” said Gambhir.
"But the emotion that a Rahul Dravid has for that blue or white t-shirt, no foreign coach can ever have. Same for a Pakistani for that green or white shirt. We have such a rich history, we don't need to be looking outside. We are not a nation that started cricket just 10 or 15 years ago. We have had players who won us World Cups.
“Emotions are very important in sports. Commercial and financial angles are important but more important than that in sport is the emotional angle, that they remember that they had shed their blood, sweat and tears while they used to wear that jersey. If Rahul Dravid wants an extension, give him. Or else an Indian only should be India's head coach.”
Wasim said that he agreed with Gambhir and was happy to see that every member of India's coaching staff during the 2023 World Cup was from the country and the team did as well as they did in that tournament. India reached the final by dominating every team they faced but ended up losing to Australia by six wickets. "The way they played the World Cup shows that our coaches are no less than any foreign coach," said Gambhir. He said that while Indian coaches may lack the presentation skills of a foreign coach, they are connected to the reality in the grassroots level. “We know how to work at the ground level, how to work hard on the field. We know how to teach the players the right emotion,” said Gambhir.
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