Gambhir approached by BCCI for India’s head coach role: Report

New Delhi: Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has reportedly been approached by the BCCI to become the next head coach of the senior men’s team. Earlier this week, the BCCI officially invited applications for the India head coach’s post with May 27 set as the deadline.

As per the job description, the new India men’s head coach would be for all three formats from July 2024 till December 2027. Dravid’s original contract as India’s head coach began after 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup in November and had come to an end with the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup at home and was extended till this year’s Men’s T20 World Cup.

Now, a report in ESPNCricinfo on Friday says Gambhir, the current mentor of two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders, is on top of the BCCI’s wishlist to take up the position after Rahul Dravid’s term gets over at the end of the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup, to be held in the West Indies and the USA from June 1-29.

The report further said Gambhir has been contacted by the BCCI to seek his interest in the top job, and further discussions are expected after KKR complete their IPL 2024 campaign. “However, the deadline for applying for the India head coach job is May 27, a day after the IPL final. Dravid, it is learnt, has communicated to the BCCI his decision not to seek another tenure,” it added.

Gambhir, 42, has no previous experience of being the head coach at international or domestic level, but has been in a mentorship role in the IPL. He was the mentor of the Lucknow Super Giants franchise in IPL 2022 and 2023, where they qualified for the playoffs in both seasons.

Ahead of the IPL 2024 season, Gambhir moved to KKR in the same mentorship capacity, where the Shreyas Iyer-led side is expected to finish the league stage on top of the points table and play the Qualifier 1 in Ahmedabad.

As a player, left-handed opener Gambhir was a member of India’s triumph in Men’s T20 World Cup in 2007 and later, in the 2011 Men’s ODI World Cup victory. He also captained KKR to winning two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014, as well as runners-up finish in the now-defunct Champions League T20 in 2014.

IANS had previously reported that Gambhir, along with Stephen Fleming, Ashish Nehra, Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer are amongst the big names in fray for the India senior men’s head coach job.

There was name of VVS Laxman, the former India batter, doing the rounds too for the top job, but he was unlikely to enter the race due to him currently being the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.

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