BCCI to overlook deadline as Gautam Gambhir mum on India head coaching role, no notable foreign names apply: report

The BCCI is in no hurry to release the list of candidates for the post of head coach of the Indian team or even talk about it. The May 27 (Monday) deadline (for applicants) is not giving the Indian cricket board any sleepless nights. They are willing to wait time to find a suitable candidate. Rahul DravidThe contract ends after the T20 World Cup. He has no plans to continue, sparking incessant speculation about his successor.

Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla (2 right) and her family members pose next to Jay Shah (left), BCCI and KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir (centre) at the end of the IPL 2024 (AFP)

The BCCI, however, is not concerned with media reports and discussions on social media. They might play the waiting game even after the T20 World Cup is over, as the immediate mission is a series against Zimbabwe, where all the senior players will be rested anyway. The team can be coached by NCA staff led by Laxman Plumbing.

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“The deadline is acceptable, but the BCCI leadership would not mind taking a little more time before taking a decision. At the moment, the team will be busy with the World T20 for most of the month of June. After that, the seniors will be “I have been rested from tours to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, where any NCA-based senior coach can accompany the team. So what’s the hurry,” a BCCI source told PTI on condition of anonymity.

The PTI report adds that Laxman was the BCCI's first choice to replace its long-serving Dravid, but the former Indian batter was not willing to link up with the senior team.

Many foreign names like DC head coach Ricky Ponting, LSG head coach Justin Langer, CSK head coach Stephen Fleming and MI director of cricket Mahela Jayawardene were thrown around, but none d none of them would have applied. “It is understood that no notable foreign names have applied for this position, especially after BCCI Secretary Jay Shah made it clear that the Council is interested in someone who has risen through the ranks and knows the national structure,” the report added.

Non-stop travel for 10 months a year is seen as the main obstacle to the lukewarm response from the big names. It was different in the pre-IPL era, where renowned former cricketers wanted to associate themselves with Indian cricket. But now, they are more than happy with their roles in the respective IPL franchises.

Gautam Gambhir favorite but…

The only pedigree name still in play is Gautam Gambhir. The former Indian opener's shares rose after Kolkata Knight Riders won their IPL this season under his leadership. However, it is still unclear whether the KKR mentor has officially applied for the position.

“Although the two interested parties have not said anything officially, it seems that the BCCI does not have many quality options at the moment,” the report added.

Moreover, KKR principal owner Shah Rukh Khan shares a deep bond with Gambhir, and it is not easy to leave an IPL team that is part of the former Indian opener's identity.

Another aspect that needs to be studied seriously is what the senior Indian players, currently in New York, think about Gambhir's potential replacement for Rahul Dravid.

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