Rahul Dravid remains India's head coach, BCCI ends speculations by extending contracts of entire support staff
The BCCI engaged in discussions with Dravid after the term of his contract ended following the World Cup 2023 and unanimously agreed to further the tenure.
Ending all speculations about the Indian men's cricket team head coach and its support staff, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday, announced the extension of contracts for Rahul Dravid and his crew members. The contracts of India's coaching staff - head coach Dravid, batting coach Vikram Rathour, bowling coach Paras Mhmabrey, and fielding coach T Dilip - were till the recently concluded ODI World Cup but now the board has decided to give all of them an extension. The primary reason behind this is believed to be the solid performance that India put in at the World Cup, under their guidance. They did not win the title - they lost in the final to Australia - but won 10 straight games in the tournament in a never-before-seen display of dominance by any Indian side in the past.
There were multiple reports of Dravid not being keen to get an extension keeping because of the constant travel and commitment the job demands but the former India captain appears to have changed his mind after the board officials pursued him.
“The BCCI engaged in productive discussions with Dravid after the term of his contract ended following the recently concluded ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 and unanimously agreed to further the tenure,” BCCI said in a release.
There was no mention of the tenure for which Dravid and his support staff were given an extension but chances are high it is till next year's T20 World Cup in June in the West Indies and USA.
Dravid was appointed India's head coach after the T20 World Cup 2021. Since then India have fared well in all three formats. They retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy, beat New Zealand, South Africa, and Sri Lanka at home. In ICC tournaments, their march was stopped in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in 2022. They fared much better in the World Test Championship but faltered in the last hurdle. The story was similar in the ODI World Cup. After displaying commanding performances till the semi-finals, Dravid's men came second-best to Australia.
In Dravid's tenure, the only multi-nation trophy India won was the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka in 2023.
Laxman to remain NCA head
VVS Laxman, who is currently with the young Indian side as an interim coach for the five-match T20I series against Australia, will continue to serve as the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
“The Board acknowledges Dravid's instrumental role in moulding the Indian Team and commends his exceptional professionalism. The Board also appreciates VVS Laxman for his exemplary roles as Head of NCA and as the stand-in Head Coach. Similar to their legendary on-field partnerships, Dravid and Laxman have worked closely in driving Indian Cricket forward,” the release added.
‘We remain committed to the pursuit of excellence’: Dravid
Dravid thanked his family for their sacrifices and added that he would remain committed to the goal of putting an end to India's long wait for an ICC trophy.
"The last two years with Team India have been thoroughly memorable. Together, we have witnessed the highs and lows, and throughout this journey, the support and camaraderie within the group have been phenomenal. I am genuinely proud of the culture we have set in the dressing room. It's a culture that stands resilient, whether in moments of triumph or adversity. The skills and talent that our team possesses are phenomenal, and what we've stressed is following the right process and sticking to our preparations, which has had a direct impact on the overall result.
“I thank the BCCI and the Office Bearers for placing their trust in me, endorsing my vision, and providing support during this period. The demands of this role necessitate considerable time away from home, and I deeply appreciate my family's sacrifices and support. Their instrumental role behind the scenes has been invaluable. As we embrace new challenges post the World Cup, we remain committed to the pursuit of excellence," Dravid said.
BCCI president and secretary laud Dravid
BCCI president, Roger Binny and secretary Jay Shah lauded Dravid for his efforts in making India the No.1-ranked in all three formats and wished him well for the future.
“Rahul Dravid’s vision, professionalism, and unyielding efforts have been important pillars in Team India’s success. As Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team, you are always under immense scrutiny and I extend appreciation to him not only for embracing the challenges but for thriving in them. The performances of the Indian Team are a testament to his strategic guidance. I am delighted that he accepted the offer to remain the Head Coach, and it speaks of the mutual respect and shared vision between him and the BCCI. I have no doubt that under him, the team will continue its march to the pinnacle of success and set new benchmarks along the way,” said Binny.
Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary said there is no one better than Dravid to take Indian cricket forward.
"I had mentioned that there is no better person than Rahul Dravid to take over the role of Head Coach at the time of his appointment, and Dravid has proven himself again with his unparalleled commitment to excellence. Team India is now a formidable unit across formats, and our top ranking in all three formats directly reflects his vision, guidance, and the roadmap he charted for the team. Having won 10 consecutive games before the final, our World Cup campaign was nothing short of extraordinary, and the Head Coach deserves appreciation for setting up the right platform for the team to flourish. The Head Coach has our full backing, and we will provide him with all the support needed for sustained success at the international level.”
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