Ricky Ponting, IPL Coach, Ex-India Pacer: Report Reveals Choices For Team India Head Coach Job | Cricket News

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is looking for a new head coach for the men’s cricket team as Rahul Dravid’s stint will come to an end after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2024, and if he wishes to continue, he would have to re-apply for the position, which the veteran has been reportedly denying so far. The multi-format coaching role requires the coach to stay with the team for approximately ten months with the busy men’s team calendar. IANS understands that Dravid is ready to step down from the position regardless of the fact whether it ends with the T20 World Cup title or not and wishes to spend time with family.

Even though South Africa, Pakistan and England divide their coaching responsibilities between red-ball and white-ball cricket, the BCCI is still unwilling to adopt a similar strategy because India do not have two distinct player groups for two formats. The BCCI also approached ex-Indian players for the position but they will have to fill the application form to stay alive in the race.

Early speculation said that VVS Laxman would succeed Dravid in the role which he previously filled on a part-time basis in the latter’s absence last year. However, sources confirmed that Laxman is not in the mood to apply and will continue with the India ‘A’ team.

Former Australian cricketer and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) head coach Justin Langer is also in the fray for the head coach position along with other star veterans including Stephen Fleming, Gautam Gambhir and Ashish Nehra. BCCI has also been meeting with IPL coaches and mentors in the hunt for a head coach. Langer ‘is curious’ and interested in coaching the Indian team but according to sources, Ponting had a meeting with the BCCI secretary Jay Shah and chief selector Ajit Agarkar in Delhi in the first week of the month regarding the coaching position. Ponting is currently associated with IPL franchise Delhi Capitals as head coach.

BCCI can also look up to Gambhir, who returned back to his old franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) after serving two years at Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and has played a key role in steering the side to back-to-back playoff finishes. Gujarat Titans head coach Nehra has also shown interest in guiding the Indian team in the past.

“Why not, if I would be given a chance to coach the Indian team why won’t I. I believe the team not only revolves around the captain it’s the management that plays the key role,” Nehra had said in an event back in 2021. Also, Nehra has proved his managing mettle with GT, winning the IPL in their debut season and a runner-up finish in the next edition.

Since Dravid is ‘not interested’ in extending his role and Laxman wants to stick with the ‘A’ team it is Ponting who is the front-runner in the race but the extensive ten months working load in away conditions will be the key point in his decision. Also, Ponting was appointed head coach of Washington Freedom ahead of the second season of Major League Cricket in the United States, which is set to start form July 6.

Soon after the end of T20 WC, India will be travelling to Zimbabwe for a five-match T20I series starting from July 15. So, with MLC ending on June 29, and Ponting serving Washington Freedom in the USA, it will be a very difficult job for the BCCI and the former Australian skipper to come to the conclusion.

BCCI can also look for other options such as Stephen Fleming, who is the longest-serving coach in IPL for Chennai Super Kings. Dravid, who was given a six-month extension post the 50-over World Cup in October-November, has his contract expiring after the T20 World Cup next month. The former India captain has the option of re-applying for the post.

The Indian board on Monday invited applications for the role with a deadline of May 27.

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