Gambhir: 'I would love to coach the Indian team'

Gambhir says there is "no bigger honour", but it's not clear yet if he has applied for the job

BCCI secretary Jay Shah poses with KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2024, final, Chennai, May 26, 2024

The BCCI has contacted Gautam Gambhir for the top job, but it's not clear if he has applied for it  •  AFP/Getty Images

Gautam Gambhir "would love to coach India" if he is given the opportunity.
Gambhir, fresh from playing a key role - as mentor - in Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) run to the IPL 2024 title, has been contacted by the BCCI for the job after Rahul Dravid's tenure ends following the conclusion of the ongoing T20 World Cup, though it's not confirmed whether he has applied for it. The deadline was May 27, a day after the IPL final.
"Look, I would love to coach the Indian team. There is no bigger honour. There is no bigger honour than coaching your national team," Gambhir said during an interaction with children at an event in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. "You are representing 140 crore Indians. And more across the globe as well. And when you represent India, how can it get bigger than that?"
It was in response to a question, where a youngster also asked Gambhir how he would help India win a World Cup.
"How can I help India win the World Cup - I think it's not me that will help India win the World Cup, it is 140 crore Indians that will help India win the World Cup," Gambhir said. "If everyone starts praying for us, and we start playing and representing them, India will win the World Cup. The most important thing is to be fearless and yes, I would love to coach India."
Dravid, it is learned, has communicated to the BCCI his decision not to seek another tenure. VVS Laxman, who had been expected to succeed Dravid, had made himself unavailable last year due to personal reasons.
Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, had hinted that the board wants an Indian to get the job, and is in the process of "identifying individuals who possess a deep understanding of the Indian cricket structure and have risen through the ranks".
Gambhir will have to leave his job at KKR if he ends up as the new India coach due to the BCCI's conflict of interest rules. He recently told Sportskeeda that he wanted to continue working with KKR to make them the most successful IPL franchise in history.
Gambhir, 42, has no experience of coaching at international or domestic level, but has been a mentor at two IPL teams: Lucknow Super Giants in IPL 2022 and 2023 - they qualified for the playoffs both times - and KKR in 2024.
During a stellar international career, Gambhir was an important part of India's T20 World Cup win in 2007 and the ODI World Cup win in 2011. He also captained KKR for seven IPL seasons, from 2011 to 2017, during which they won two IPL titles, in 2012 and 2014.