Coach Dravid to continue for two years

After days of speculation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday announced that it will continue with Rahul Dravid as the coach for India A and U-19 teams for the next couple of years.

In Rahul Dravid's first assignment as coach, the ‘A’ side won the triangular series in Australia which also had South Africa as the third team.   -  Sudhakara Jain

Former India captain Rahul Dravid, who has played his part in shaping the nascent careers of India’s junior teams from 2015 to 2017, has given his consent to be the coach of the India Under-19 and India `A’ team for two years (2017-2019). With the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) insisting on a 12-month or a 24-month contract in order to avoid conflict of interest issues between coaching/mentoring national junior teams and franchise-owned IPL teams, Dravid will be available to the junior teams on a permanent basis for a 24-month stretch. The BCCI is also likely to ask him to plan development programmes.

The agreement between the BCCI and Dravid will mean that he will not be associated with the 11th and 12th seasons of the IPL. Soon after the announcement, Rahul Dravid stepped down as Delhi Daredevils' mentor.

The BCCI confirmed Dravid’s appointment as coach for a two-year period on Friday, after a conference call involving the former batsman, BCCI’s acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary, GM of Game Development Ratnakar Shetty and CEO Rahul Johri. Dravid, in fact, had a meeting with the BCCI officials here last Sunday.

Dravid’s contract was quite different from the one offered to Anil Kumble, who was compelled to quit after the India captain Virat Kohli told the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S.Laxman and Sourav Ganguly, and the BCCI after the ICC Champions Trophy that he cannot work with Kumble as Head Coach.

The CAC did not regard Kohli’s grievances serious enough and told the BCCI that it doesn’t warrant a change of guard.

Dravid's previous contract had an extension clause and the CAC did not waste time to appreciate the good work done by their former team-mate and gave the green signal to extend Dravid’s contract. This was done when the ICC Champions Trophy was in progress.

A BCCI release said: “The former India captain (Dravid) was first appointed as the coach for the two teams in 2015 and under his leadership the youngsters have achieved outstanding results, at home and away. In his first assignment as coach, the ‘A’ side won  the triangular series in Australia which also had South Africa as the third team. He repeated that success with the Under-19 team as well, guiding them to the final of the World Cup in 2016.”

Dravid's immediate assignment will be with the India under-19 team that will tour England to play ODIs and four-day matches and thereafter in South Africa for a triangular series featuring the `A' teams of India, South Africa and Australia. The India ‘A' team will also play two four day games against South Africa `A' team. The India under-19 and `A' teams have been announced. Dravid perhaps believes that under -19 and ‘A’ teams need to be given exposure and to be the supply line for the senior teams and one should not always necessarily look at results.

The BCCI acting president, C.K. Khanna, said, “Over the last two years, Rahul Dravid has been instrumental in getting young talent into the mix who have proved their worth on the big stage. We are glad to continue his services for the next two years and are sure that this is a bright sign for Indian cricket which will see many more young talents coming up in the future.”

The BCCI acting Secretary, Amitabh Choudhary, said, “Rahul Dravid is known for the discipline and commitment he brings to the table. He has been successful in grooming the youngsters in the last two years. I wish him all the very best for his assignments with the two teams for the next two years.”

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