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Indian cricket board appoints Gautam Gambhir as men’s head coach | Cricket News

Indian cricket board appoints Gautam Gambhir as men’s head coach | Cricket News

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The former batter and BJP politician will take charge of the Indian team following Rahul Dravid’s decision to step away.

India’s cricket board has named Gautam Gambhir as head coach of the men’s team, with the former opener taking over from Rahul Dravid, tasked with building on their recent World Cup triumph.

“It is with immense pleasure that I welcome Mr Gautam Gambhir as the new Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team,” Jay Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The 42-year-old Gambhir takes over from batting great Dravid, who finished his stint with the T20 World Cup title in Barbados last month.

Gambhir scored more than 10,000 international runs during his 13-year-long international career for India since his ODI debut in 2003.

He is the only Indian – and one of four international cricketers including Don Bradman, Jacques Kallis and Mohammad Yousuf – to have scored centuries in five successive Test matches.

“Modern-day cricket has evolved rapidly, and Gautam has witnessed this changing landscape up close,” Shah added in his post.

Gambhir, a left-handed batter who played a key part in India’s ODI World Cup win in 2011, recently coached Kolkata Knight Riders to an Indian Premier League (IPL) crown.

“Having endured the grind and excelled in various roles throughout his career, I am confident that Gautam is the ideal person to steer Indian cricket forward,” Shah added.

Gambhir replied to Shah’s statement on X, saying he was “elated” to be part of the men’s cricket team’s journey.

After he retired from playing, the usually serious Gambhir took to commentary and then dabbled in politics, becoming a lawmaker for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He quit politics in March to join IPL’s Kolkata, a team he led to two titles in 2012 and 2014.

Gambhir now takes over a team with heightened expectations after their T20 triumph, their fourth World Cup title and their first major crown since the 2013 Champions Trophy.

India’s white-ball tour of Sri Lanka in late July will be Gambhir’s first assignment as coach of the national team.

India also awaits a T20 captain after Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli retired from the shortest format soon after a thrilling win over South Africa in the World Cup final in Barbados on June 29.

Shah also offered his “sincere thanks and gratitude” to Dravid, ending his coaching career on a high.

“Under his guidance, Team India emerged as a dominant force across formats, including being crowned ICC Men’s T20 World Cup champions,” Shah said.

“His strategic acumen, persistent efforts to nurture talent and exemplary leadership have instilled a culture of excellence within the team and that is also the legacy he leaves behind.”

Expectations will be high given that India, under Dravid, also made the finals of the World Test Championship and the 50-overs home World Cup last year.

“His appointment as head coach marks a new chapter for Indian cricket,” said BCCI president Roger Binny.

“His experience, dedication, and vision for the game make him the ideal candidate to guide our team forward.

“We are confident that under his leadership, Team India will continue to excel and make the nation proud.”

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