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Why Rahul Dravid turned down India’s head coach role in 2017

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Former India captain Rahul Dravid was offered the position of India head coach to replace the outgoing Anil Kumble in 2017, but he decided to continue in his role with India’s junior teams, former Committee of Administrators chairman Vinod Rai has revealed.

Rai, speaking to Sportskeeda, said that Dravid was approached for the role after Kumble’s unceremonious exit in 2017, but he decided to not take up the offer and continue in his capacity as coach of the India A and India Under-19 teams.

“Rahul was very upfront with us,” said Rai. “He said, ‘Look, I have two boys growing up at home, and I have been travelling with the Indian team all over the world, and I am not able to give time and attention to them. I think I must stay at home also. And give time to my family.’

“I think that was a very fair request, [even] though he would have been uppermost in mind. So, he was very much in the zone of consideration.”

Under Dravid, who took up the coach’s role in 2015, India reached the final of the 2016 U19 World Cup, and won the 2018 edition. In 2019, Dravid was replaced as coach of the setup, after taking over as the Director of Cricket Operations at the National Cricket Academy.

With Dravid declining the India senior coach offer, Ravi Shastri bagged the role, and has been at the helm since, earning a contract extension last year. “Look, in terms of potential for coaching, Dravid, Shastri and Kumble are the best in the business,” Rai said. “We definitely talked to Rahul. He was engaged with the Under-19s team and he was involved with them. He had developed a road map on how to develop a team.

“He was bringing out fantastic results. He wanted to continue because he felt that there were some unfinished tasks with that team and he wanted to do it.”

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