NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board (BCCI) announced on Wednesday that it is going to stick with Rahul Dravid as the head coach of the Indian team, at least for the immediate future. The BCCI and Dravidarrived at the decision after a week of discussions, it is learnt. However, the board has not officially specified the tenure of the new contract.TOI has learnt that both parties have agreed to work till the T20 World Cup in June 2024 before planning for the next ODI World Cup.
BCCI ends speculations, retains Rahul Dravid as India’s head coach alongside support staff
“Dravid and his support staff have been asked to focus on the T20 World Cup as of now. The priority is to win that tournament in the US and Caribbean. The long-term planning can wait. Things will be taken forward from there. Their services will be on a pro-rata business as of now till modalities are formalised,” a BCCI source said on Wednesday.
The BCCI said in a statement that Dravid and his support staff of Paras Mhambrey (bowling coach), Vikram Rathour (batting coach) and T Dilip (fielding coach) have all been given extensions to their contracts, which expired during the recent ODI World Cup. The development comes a week prior to the Indian team’s departure for a full tour of South Africa and days after speculation raged that Dravid’s one-time Team India teammate VVS Laxman could step in as a possible replacement.
“I had mentioned that there is no better person than Rahul Dravid to take over the role of head coach at the time of his appointment, and he has proven himself with his unparalleled commitment to excellence.
“Team India is now a formidable unit across formats, and our top ranking in all three formats directly reflects his vision, guidance, and the roadmap he charted for the team,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement, adding, “Having won 10 consecutive games before the final, our World Cup campaign was nothing short of extraordinary, and the head coach deserves appreciation for setting up the right platform.”
Dravid himself was quoted as saying in the statement, “I thank the BCCI office bearers for placing their trust in me, endorsing my vision, and providing support during this period.
“The demands of this role necessitate considerable time away from home, and I deeply appreciate my family’s sacrifices and support. As we embrace new challenges post the World Cup, we remain committed to the pursuit of excellence.”
‘Back-up choice’ VVS was unsure
BCCI’s plans post the World Cup revolved largely around the eagerness of Dravid to continue. Keeping that in mind, the board considered current National Cricket Academy (NCA) head Laxman as a back-up option as head coach in case Dravid declined to continue in the role. Laxman, it is understood, wasn’t sure about taking up the assignment. The board had asked for his passport to process his visa for South Africa and that is when Laxman expressed his reservations.
“Laxman said he needed to spend more time with his family. He was unsure about the relentless travel that comes with the assignment. Besides, he is very committed towards strengthening the NCA and India’s supply line of cricketers,” the source said.