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BCCI appoints Gambhir as head coach of senior men’s team, will take charge with Sri Lanka series

Mumbai, July 9: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed former opener and 2011 ODI World Cup-winner Gautam Gambhir as the new head coach of the senior men’s team. BCCI on Tuesday issued a statement informing that the former India batter will take charge from the upcoming away series against Sri Lanka where Team India is set to play three ODIs and three T20Is starting July 27.

“The Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Ashok Malhotra, Jatin Paranjpe, and Sulakshana Naik on Tuesday unanimously recommended Gautam Gambhir as the Head Coach of Team India (Senior Men),” the BCCI informed in a release on Tuesday.

Before the cricket board’s statement, the BCCI secretary Jay Shah had earlier made this announcement through a social media post on Tuesday. “It is with immense pleasure that I welcome Mr @GautamGambhir as the new Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team. Modern-day cricket has evolved rapidly, and Gautam has witnessed this changing landscape up close,” Jay Shah stated.

“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. “His clear vision for #TeamIndia, coupled with his vast experience, positions him perfectly to take on this exciting and most sought-after coaching role. The @BCCI fully supports him as he embarks on this new journey,” he said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Gambhir, who was part of the 2011 ODI World Cup-winning team, was till recently the mentor of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and had appeared for the interviews for the head coach’s post along with another former India opener WV Raman.

The former left-handed opener helped KKR lift the trophy in 2024 for the third time and heavily impressed everyone with his leadership skills. Earlier, he had captained KKR to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014. A former Member of Parliament from Delhi, Gambhir was the Team Mentor of the Lucknow Super Giants before taking over the same responsibility at KKR.

The BCCI invited applications for the said position on May 13 to appoint Rahul Dravid’s successor, whose term ended after the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. Gambhir and another former India opener W.V. Raman appeared for the interview after Jay Shah denied that BCCI had any talks with any former Australian players for the post.

“The Board would like to take this opportunity to express its heartfelt gratitude to Dravid for his outstanding service as head coach. Dravid’s tenure was marked by significant achievements; the most noteworthy being crowned champions of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, in 2024. Team India also finished as runners-up in the ICC 50-over World Cup, 2023 hosted in India & the ICC World Test Championship in 2023 hosted in England,” the BCCI said in its statement.

“Apart from the team’s dominance in bilateral series at home, Dravid’s dedication to nurturing young talent and instilling discipline and sportsmanship in the team has been exemplary,” the cricket board said.

The Board also congratulated Rahul Dravid’s support staff for their successful tenure. “The Board also congratulates Paras Mhambrey (bowling coach), T. Dilip (fielding coach), and Vikram Rathour (batting coach) on a highly successful tenure. The BCCI values their contribution and wishes them the best going forward.

The BCCI welcomed Gambhir in his new role with Team India with both the secretary and president hailing the former India opener’s appointment.

“The BCCI welcomes Gautam Gambhir in his role with Team India. The former Indian opener brings with him a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the game. Known for his exceptional batting prowess and strategic acumen, Gambhir has been a pivotal figure in Indian cricket.

“His remarkable contributions to the Indian team include crucial performances in the 2007 ICC World T20 and the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, which have cemented his legacy as one of the sport’s greats. Gambhir also led his IPL franchise, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to two title victories in 2012 and 2014. In his role as a Mentor with KKR in 2024, Gambhir helped the team secure its third IPL title,” the BCCI said in its statement.

The statement clarified that in his new role as head coach of Team India, Gambhir will be responsible for overseeing the development and performance of the Indian cricket team. “His focus will be on developing a culture of excellence, discipline, and teamwork, while also nurturing young talent and preparing the team for future challenges on the global stage,” it said.

BCCI President, Roger Binny thanked Rahul Dravid on his successful tenure and welcomed Gambhir’s appointment as head coach.

“The Board would like to thank former Head Coach, Mr Rahul Dravid for his brilliant run with the team. Team India now embarks on a journey under a new coach – Gautam Gambhir. His appointment as Head Coach marks a new chapter for Indian cricket. 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,” said Binny.

Jay Shah, BCCI’s Honorary Secretary, said: “We thank Rahul Dravid and his team of support staff for their service and stellar effort in their tenure with Team India. The team enjoyed remarkable success across formats and being crowned champions at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, 2024 is a moment that the nation will cherish for a long time. The baton now passes on to Gautam Gambhir who will don the role of Head Coach from the forthcoming series in Sri Lanka.”

“Gambhir has been a fierce competitor and a brilliant strategist. We believe he will bring the same tenacity and leadership to his role as Head Coach. His transition to the role of Head Coach is a natural progression, and I believe he will bring out the best in our players,” said Shah.

Shah said he is confident that Gambhir will take the team to new heights. “I am confident that he will inspire and lead the team to new heights. His vision for the future of Indian cricket aligns perfectly with our goals, and we are excited about the journey ahead. Congratulations to him and best of luck for this new journey,” he said.

Rajeev Shukla, BCCI Vice-president, said: “Heartiest congratulations to Gautam Gambhir on being appointed as the Head Coach of Team India. His illustrious career and profound cricketing insights make him a perfect fit for this role. We are excited about the positive impact he will bring to Indian cricket. Best wishes for a successful tenure.”

Ashish Shelar, BCCI Treasurer, also congratulated Gambhir. “Congratulations to Gautam Gambhir on his appointment as the Head Coach. He has proven credentials as a champion player and he brings a winning mentality to the dressing room. His leadership and mentorship qualities on and off the field have been inspiring. I am confident that he will shine bright in this new role which will bring out the best in our team,” he said.

Devajit Saikia, BCCI Joint Secretary, said: “It gives me immense pleasure to welcome Gautam Gambhir as the new Head Coach of Team India. His vast experience and strategic know-how will be invaluable in nurturing and guiding our players to greater success. The BCCI looks forward to an exciting and successful journey with Team India ahead.”

In his response to the appointment, Gambhir said it was an absolute honour and added that he was looking forward to working with NCA chief and BCCI Head of Cricket, VVS Laxman.

“I have always taken pride in donning the Indian jersey during my playing days and it is going to be no different when I take up this new role. Cricket has been my passion and I look forward to working closely with the BCCI, Head of Cricket – VVS Laxman, the support staff, and, most importantly, the players, as we work towards achieving success in the upcoming tournaments,” he said.

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