Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid has become a successful coach after retiring from the game. He credits the former Indian World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev’s advice for his successful journey after his playing career.
In 2012, Rahul Dravid retired from international cricket after playing 509 international matches. After featuring in the Champions League T20 2013 for Rajasthan Royals (RR), Dravid retired from the game. While he had many options after retiring from the game, Kapil Dev advised him to explore different things before committing anything.
Dravid recently told India women’s team coach WV Raman on his YouTube channel ‘Inside Out’, “After I finished (playing), there were quite a few options and I was not sure what to do. It was Kapil Dev who gave me this advice actually when I was coming to the end of my career. I bumped into him somewhere and he said ‘Rahul, don’t commit to doing anything straightaway, go out and spend a few years just exploring and doing different things and see what you really like’. I thought it was good advice.”
I really liked the coaching side of things: Rahul Dravid
Dravid successfully coached the India A and India U19 team between 2016 and 2019. During his coaching term, India U19 finished as the runners-up in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016 and won the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018, while India A achieved some great success. In 2019, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed him as the Director of Cricket Operations at National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
Dravid said, “The thing that gave me the most satisfaction was really being involved in the game and being connected with the boys. I really liked the coaching side of things and I got sort of involved in that when the opportunity came up to do some coaching with India A and Under-19.
“I thought it was a good place to start and and took it up and I’ve really enjoyed it since. I just feel a lot more satisfying to be involved in the coaching side of things. Especially the developmental side of coaching, whether India A, Under-19 or the NCA. It’s really given me the opportunity to work with a lot of the players without having to worry about the immediate results which I think is a really nice space for me to work in.”
While he supported the BCCI’s decision to restrict the young players to feature in only one U19 Cricket World Cup, his India A side became a strong supply line for the India national cricket team. He is now also happy with the improving facilities in the NCA.
He added, “Instead of just 15-20 players, we were able to give 45 to 50 players exposure to the facilities at NCA, good coaches, good physios, good trainers, so it broadens the pool.”