Rahul Dravid to stay on as India cricket coach until T20 World Cup

Dravid’s role as coach will likely cover India’s campaign at next year’s T20 World Cup following an extension by the Indian cricket board.

India coach Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli
Rahul Dravid led India to the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, which they lost to Australia [File: Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

Rahul Dravid will stay on as India’s head coach following an extension of his contract, which had expired with the ICC Cricket World Cup at home earlier this month, the country’s cricket board has said.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) did not reveal the duration of the extension but it is likely to cover the T20 World Cup in West Indies and the United States in June.

“The BCCI engaged in productive discussions with Rahul Dravid after the term of his contract ended … and unanimously agreed to further the tenure,” the board said in a statement on Wednesday.

Dravid was appointed in November 2021 for two years.

India’s World Cup campaign ended with a loss against Australia in the final on November 19.

The BCCI acknowledged Dravid’s “exceptional professionalism” as coach of the side which reached the finals of the World Test Championship, which they also lost to Australia.

His team of support staff, including batting coach Vikram Rathour and bowling coach Paras Mhambrey, have also been retained.

The board also praised former test batter VVS Laxman, who was expected to succeed Dravid in the role having occasionally filled in for his former India teammate, saying he had shown “exemplary” service.

Laxman is currently guiding a second-string India squad in a five-match T20 series against Australia. Dravid is likely to reclaim the coaching reins for India’s tour of South Africa next month.

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said Dravid had made India a “formidable” force.

“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,” he added.

“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 for the team to flourish.”

India, captained by Rohit Sharma, remained unbeaten in 10 matches coming into the World Cup final in Ahmedabad.

India last won a global title 10 years ago – the 2013 Champions Trophy – and their last World Cup triumph came in 2011 at home.

Dravid said he thoroughly enjoyed the last two years in charge of the side.

“I am genuinely proud of the culture we have set in the dressing room,” the 50-year-old said.

Dravid, nicknamed “The Wall” or “Mr Dependable” for his classic batting and rock-solid defence as a batter, is expected to lead the team on their tour of South Africa next month.

Before retiring as a player in 2012, Dravid scored 13,288 runs in 164 Tests, second only to the legendary Sachin Tendulkar for India and fourth overall in the world rankings.

Source: News Agencies