Rahul Dravid named as coach of India A and U-19 teams
Former Indian batsman Rahul Dravid was named by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as the coach of the India A and U-19 teams on Saturday.
His appointment was announced after the BCCI Cricket Advisory Committee consisting of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly met BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya and Secretary Anurag Thakur in Kolkata.
Confirming the news, Thakur revealed that Dravid had accepted the role and said: “The good news is that Rahul Dravid has agreed to coach India A and India Under-19 in the future.”
Dravid, who had a short stint in 2014 as India's batting consultant, is also on the coaching staff of the Rajasthan Royals side in the Indian Premier League serving as the team mentor.
India A will be playing two four-day matches against Australia A and South Africa A in July and August which will form the first assignment for Dravid after taking up the role.
He will later fly to Bangladesh with the India U-19 team for the 2016 International Cricket Council (ICC) U-19 Cricket World Cup as they chase their fourth title.
The BCCI is yet to announce a full time coach for the Indian team after Duncan Fletcher’s completed his contract following the recently concluded World Cup in Australia.
Ravi ,Shastri, who served as the Team Director until the World Cup, was given an extension until the Bangladesh tour leaving doubts whether or not he would be engaged in a full time role.
Commenting on this, Thakur said that the BCCI would take a decision after a meeting with the Cricket Advisory Committee after drawing up a list of names in the near future.
“There is lot of speculation about his (Ravi Shastri) future but leave that to us. The time of speculation is over.
“The matter will be decided and this committee has been asked to give its recommendation, based on which future decisions will be taken.
“Till the time we don't make any changes, the current set-up will continue.
“We have not shortlisted any names but in some time we will have a few names and the advisory committee meeting will be held.”
Disclosing the outcome of the Advisory Committee meeting in Kolkata, Thakur said that the trio of Sachin, Laxman and Ganguly were in favour of more overseas exposure for the India A team.
Thakur also added that the trio had advised the board to form a 15-member pool of upcoming spinners and fast bowlers to groom them with a special focus.
According to Thakur, the BCCI would be hiring support staff to enable every level of cricket to have the same kind of coaching and playing facilities.
“We will be hiring a number of coaches, physios and trainers. We would like to have a pyramid like structure where from top to bottom, similar coaching and facilities are available to all.
“All three (of the committee members) of them agree that if need be, Sourav, Sachin and Laxman can spare some time to help the Indian cricketers.
“Our focus will be to play more and more overseas. The next meeting of legends committee will be held after the shortlist of new trainers and physios is decided.
“One important recommendation was that to select a pool of 15 fast bowlers and 15 spinners and have specialist coaches for them.”
Thakur further thanked the greats for their dedication to help Indian cricket by agreeing to constitute the advisory committee in what would be honorary positions.
“Advisory committee members are honorary. I am glad that when Sourav, Sachin and Laxman were approached, everybody agreed in minutes.
“The passion and commitment level shown by the former cricketers is exceptional.”
Thakur signed off by congratulating umpire Sundaram Ravi for being the second Indian umpire to make it to the ICC’s Elite Panel of Umpires.
© Cricket World 2015