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Not interested: Why coaching Team India should be on the list of world’s toughest jobs

Not interested: Why coaching Team India should be on the list of world’s toughest jobs

With Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer and Andy Flower refusing, BCCI is finding it difficult to replace Rahul Dravid as India cricket coach.

The wealthiest cricket board, with no dearth of money and an excellent team with superstars, yet the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has had a hard time finding a coach for the India Cricket Team. And with Rahul Dravid all but confirmed to step away after the T20 World Cup 2024, BCCI will be in a tough spot once again. The reason is that not many are interested in a hectic job with little to no recognition, sacrificing personal life and living with immense pressure. And that should make the job one of the toughest in the world.

Despite names being thrown around, not many have shown interest, including the current National Cricket Academy director, VVS Laxman. Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting and his teammate Justin Langer have both refused. Former Indian players have also not very keen on applying for the job. Even Rahul Dravid had to be convinced by former BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah to come on board.

Why no taker for India coaching job?

Reason No 1: Immense pressure:

India whenever they play or whoever they play against, they are expected to win each and every game. Losing is not even an option. That creates immense pressure on everyone, especially the coach. That’s not it. There is pressure to include a player, there is intra-squad politics, and superheroism among others. Not many can cope with that pressure.

Take a look at Rahul Dravid’s picture. On the left, when he was the NCA head, in 2021, he looked relaxed. In three years, Dravid looks at least 13 years older.

Reason 2: Thankless job

But if India win, the credit goes to the player, not the coach. However, if the team loses, the coach comes under immense scrutiny. Even though the job is more of managing the men than coaching the basics of cricket, he is never appreciated. Unlike Australia or England, Team India only exists on paper. Instead, the individuals are given priority, thanks to hero-worshipping in the country.

Reason 3: No personal life

Unlike cricketers, the head coach only gets two months of leave every year, during IPL. Other than that, the coach travels with the team all the time. While Rahul Dravid got frequent breaks, the likes of Ravi Shastri, Anil Kumble and other predecessors never got those breaks. And, it is unlikely that others who will succeed Dravid will get that many breaks either.

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Reason 4: Not enough money?

Not that BCCI does not pay an attractive package to the head coach, but it’s still not enough when one considers the opportunities in the broadcasting world or in IPL. Dravid earns Rs 12 Crore annually for his role as the India head coach. The likes of Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting earn around Rs 4 Crore for just three months.

Furthermore, they can associate with other T20 leagues or commentary/pundit roles, stretching the cash flow to Rs 20-25 Crore a year.

Reason 5: Restrictions

Apart from the lack of financial incentives, the India head coach will also have multiple restrictions, unlike a player. The coaches cannot take up a job in the IPL or anywhere else in the world. There are restrictions on media appearances as well as speaking their mind.

As a result, not many have been keen to take up the job even though it is the most prestigious one.

“I’d love to be a senior coach of a national team, but with the other things that I have in my life and wanting to have a bit of time at home. Everyone knows if you take a job working with the Indian team, you can’t be involved in an IPL team, so it would take that out of it as well,” Ricky Ponting told ICC Review.

Reason 6: Media scrutiny

While fans have their say on social media, the India head coach also faces intense scrutiny from the media. Former players who join the broadcast crew do not spare the coach either. Sunil Gavaskar publicly criticised frequent breaks for Rahul Dravid.

“I was talking to KL Rahul and he said, ‘You know, if you think there’s pressure and politics in an IPL team, multiply that by a thousand, that’s coaching India. That was a good bit of advice, I guess,” Justin Langer said when he was asked about

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