Multiple sources in the BCCIconfirmed to this paper that the legendary batter, whose two-year contract ended with the conclusion of the World Cup, has decided not to continue as the head coach of the Indian team and has communicated the same to the BCCI.Dravid is set to be replaced in the role by his close friendVVS Laxman, who is currently the head coach of a second-string Indian team which will take on Australia in a five-match T20I series in Vizag from Thursday.
Laxman is also the head of the BCCI’s National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, and was the interim head coach of the Indian team during the Ireland T20I series before the World Cup and the white-ball series against New Zealand after the T20 World Cup last year.
“Laxman has expressed his keenness for the job. During the World Cup, Laxman travelled to Ahmedabad to meet the BCCI’s top bosses in this regard. He’s likely to sign a long-time contract as the Team India coach, and will certainly travel with the team in that capacity for the upcoming tour of South Africa, which will be his first as the full-time India head coach,” a reliable source in the BCCI told TOI.
The first T20I against South Africa is scheduled for December 10, and the team is likely to depart by December 4.
Dravid had been appointed as the head coach of Team India in November 2021 on a two-year contract, which ended with the World Cup in India.
“Dravid has communicated to the BCCI that he isn’t keen to continue as a full-time coach. For close to 20 years, he has travelled with the Indian team as a player, and for the past couple of years, he again went through the same grind, which he doesn’t want to undergo. He’s fine with a role at the NCA as the head there (a role he previously served in), which will allow him to stay back in his hometown Bengaluru. Like earlier, he’s fine with coaching the team sporadically, but not again as a full-time coach,” the source said.
Another source told TOI that the Dravid was already considering his future options. “He’s in talks with an IPL team for a big two-year contract,” the source revealed. There’s no clarity on whether the other members of the support staff of the Indian team, whose contracts too ended with the World Cup, will continue. Vikram Rathour was India’s batting coach, Paras Mhambrey was the bowling coach, and T Dilip was the fielding coach.
“They might continue, or Laxman, like any other coach, might want to bring his own set of people in the support staff,” said the source.
Dravid’s two-year stint saw India lose in the T20 World Cup semifinals in Australia, triumph in the Asia Cup, reach the ODI World Cup final, win the home Test series against Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, and the away series in Bangladesh and West Indies. There were home T20I series wins against Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka too.
The team lost in the Tests and ODI series in South Africa and the deciding fifth Test in England.