Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting. PC- Getty

Ricky Ponting and Ashish Nehra are the front runners for the new Team India head coach role if reports are to be believed. On Monday night, the BCCI officially announced their search for Dravid’s replacement, outlining the qualifications required and providing a thorough job description for prospective candidates. The deadline to apply to the board is May 27.

This came after Rahul Dravid reportedly conveyed to the BCCI that he would not be continuing post the T20 World Cup 2024. Dravid’s tenure ended after the ICC World Cup in November 2023. But with no other alternative in sight, Dravid and his support staff were convinced by the BCCI for a six-month extension till the T20 World Cup 2024.

With Dravid unwilling for a new contract, which will be a three-year tenure, the BCCI has been forced to look for other alternatives including several foreign coaches as well, who are currently working with franchises in the IPL 2024.

The multi-format coaching role requires the coach to stay with the team for approximately ten months with the busy men’s team calendar.

Early speculation was that VVS Laxman would replace Dravid in the job he had held on a part-time basis during the latter’s absence last year. According to sources, Laxman is not interested in applying and would continue to play for the India ‘A’ team.

Ricky Ponting, Ashish Nehra, Justin Langer, and Gautam Gambhir- a few of the rumored names in the fray for the India head coach role

Justin Langer, former Australian cricketer and head coach of the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), is also vying for the role, along with other star veterans Stephen Fleming, Gautam Gambhir, and Ashish Nehra.

The BCCI has also been speaking with IPL coaches and mentors in its search for a head coach.

Langer ‘is fascinated’ about coaching the Indian squad, but sources say Ponting met with BCCI secretary Jay Shah and top selector Ajit Agarkar in Delhi in the first week of the month to discuss the coaching post.

The BCCI might also look to Gambhir, who returned to his old franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) after two years at Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and has played a major part in leading the team to back-to-back playoff appearances. Nehra, the Gujarat Titans’ head coach, has previously expressed an interest in managing the Indian team.

Soon after the end of the T20 WC, India will be traveling to Zimbabwe for a five-match T20I series starting on July 15.

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