KKR captain Shreyas Iyer, mentor Gautam Gambhir and Chandrakant Pandit.
KKR captain Shreyas Iyer, mentor Gautam Gambhir and Chandrakant Pandit. Image Credit: X

The Kolkata Knight Riders clinch their third tile in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in this 2024 season, under head-coach Chandrakant Pandit. However, most of the attention behind the success of the franchise has gone towards their mentor Gautam Gambhir.

After the end of the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, set to be co-hosted by the United States of America (USA) and the West Indies, Gambhir was supposed to be a top contender to replace Rahul Dravid, who is the current head coach of the Indian team.

Many reports have also claimed that the deal between the former left-handed opener and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has already been done. But the role of Chandrakant Pandit, who has been phenomenal in the domestic cricket of the country, could have been fantastic for the national side.

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‘Why not also look at Indian cricket?’ – Chandrakant Pandit

The Knight Riders head coach understands the structure and flow of the domestic cricket in India better than most of the people, as he has been so successful for many states for the last quite a few season.

Chandrakant Pandit also joins Ashish Nehra to become only the second Indian head-coach to win the IPL trophy for a franchises, after Nehra did the same in his debut 2022 season, with the Gujarat Titans (GT). The veteran has gained six titles in the Ranji Trophy as a head-coach, for various teams.

The former wicket-keeper batter for India won the Ranji Trophy thrice for Mumbai during the 2002-’03, 2004-’04, and the 2015-’16 season. When he shifted his base to Vidarbha, they won in two back-to-back seasons in 2016-’17 and in 2017-’18. At last, moving to the Madhya Pradesh, Pandit carried them to the Ranji title in the 2022 edition.

Many, at the beginning wanted Chandrakant Pandit to go for the job of the India coach, but there were a few issue. And finally, the veteran broke his silence on the matter this time around and how he isn’t eligible for the respective post.

‘This season I thought about it, but unfortunately, the criteria don’t permit me. I would have been happy, obviously, to take up the job. I feel why not. Ultimately, to develop Indian cricket, I’m looking after so much state cricket and at the same time, why not also look at the Indian cricket?’ KKR head-coach Chandrakant Pandit expressed on Sports Today in an interview.

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When the BCCI announced the process of the head-coach selection, they put a few criteria with the certain advertisement. The application stated that the future India-coach’s age should be less than 60, while Chandrakant Pandit is already 62-years-old.

The former India batter has smashed 8209 first-class runs in domestic cricket in 138 games, at an average of nearly 50, with 42 half-centuries and 22 fifties.

It was also been reported that the BCCI had approached the likes of former Australia player and their head-coach Justin Langer, retired New Zealand player and the present Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coach Stephen Fleming, and a few for taking the job.