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Gambhir succeeds Dravid as cricket team’s head coach

Gambhir succeeds Dravid as cricket team’s head coach

New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has named former World Cup-winning opener Gautam Gambhir as the new head coach of the Indian cricket team. The 42-year-old replaces Rahul Dravid, whose tenure ended after India’s victory in the T20 World Cup in Barbados last month.

Gambhir, known for his tenacity and strategic acumen, expressed his honour in taking on the role. “It is an absolute honour to serve my tricolour, my people, my country,” he said in a BCCI statement.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Rahul Dravid and his team of support staff for their exemplary run with the team. I am honoured and excited to take on the role of Head Coach for Team India,” he said.

Gambhir expressed eagerness to work closely with the BCCI, Head of Cricket VVS Laxman, the support staff, and the players to achieve success in upcoming tournaments.

The former left-handed batsman played crucial roles in India’s 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ODI World Cup victories.

As a player, Gambhir also led Kolkata Knight Riders to IPL titles in 2012 and 2014 and later showcased his coaching skills by mentoring KKR to an IPL title earlier this year. His appointment came after VVS Laxman, director of cricket at the Bengaluru-based National Cricket Academy, expressed his unwillingness to take up the top post.

Gambhir has reportedly sought the services of Abhishek Nayar, the head of the Kolkata Knight Riders’ academy, to be his assistant coach. Nayar is also a close friend of national ODI and Test skipper Rohit Sharma.

BCCI president Roger Binny praised Gambhir’s experience, dedication, and vision for the game, stating that these qualities make him the ideal candidate to guide the team forward. Secretary Jay Shah echoed this sentiment, emphasising Gambhir’s leadership and competitive spirit.

Gambhir’s first assignment as head coach will be India’s tour of Sri Lanka, starting July 27, which includes three T20Is and three ODIs. His appointment comes after a unanimous recommendation by the Cricket Advisory Committee.

The BCCI also thanked outgoing coach Rahul Dravid for his successful tenure, during which India reached the finals of the 50-over World Cup and the ICC World Test Championship. Dravid was also lauded for nurturing young talent and instilling discipline and sportsmanship in the team.

Gambhir is expected to bring a fresh perspective and leadership to the Indian team as they prepare for upcoming international tournaments.

He will have significant shoes to fill, given Dravid’s outstanding service as head coach.

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