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India's next head coach: Ponting and Langer rule themselves out

Ricky Ponting is keen to be an international coach but indicated the timing is not yet right for him

Old mates Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting catch up after the game, Lucknow Super Giants vs Delhi Capitals, IPL 2024, Lucknow, April 12, 2024

Old mates Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting catch up during the IPL  •  BCCI

Ricky Ponting has revealed he was approached to be India's next head coach but despite significant interest in the job said it is an "unlikely" option for him at the moment given the commitment it would require.
Justin Langer, too, has said that the time isn't right for him to take up the "awesome job", while Kasi Viswanathan, the Chennai Super Kings chief executive, has said that Stephen Fleming, the team's coach, will not like to take a job that requires him to work "for nine-ten months in a year".
Deadlines for applications close on May 27, the day after the IPL final, and ESPNcricinfo has previously reported that Rahul Dravid will not be seeking another stint .
Ponting said he had ambitions to be a national-team coach, but amid his other current roles - head coach at Delhi Capitals and television work in Australia - the time is not right.
"I've seen a lot of reports about it," Ponting told the ICC Review. "Normally these things pop up on social media before you even know about them, but there were a few little one-on-one conversations during the IPL, just to get a level of interest from me as to whether I would do it.
"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.
"Also, a national head coach is a ten- or 11-month-of-the-year job, and as much as I'd like to do it, it just doesn't fit into my lifestyle right now and the things that I really enjoy doing."
"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
However, Ponting did appear to keep the door slightly ajar by saying his young son Fletcher had offered a positive response to the prospect of him taking the job.
"My family and my kids have spent the last five weeks over at the IPL with me and they come over every year and I had a whisper to my son about it, and I said, 'Dad's been offered the Indian coaching job' and he said, 'Just take it, dad, we would love to move over there for the next couple of years'" he said. "That's how much they love being over there and the culture of cricket in India, but right now it probably doesn't exactly fit into my lifestyle."
Ponting's other current roles include head of strategy at Hobart Hurricanes and head coach of Washington Freedom in MLC having signed a two-year deal for that tournament which will follow straight on from the T20 World Cup in USA and West Indies. He has previously worked with Australia's T20I and ODI side.

Justin Langer puts himself out of contention

Gautam Gambhir has been sounded out by the BCCI for the job, while other names linked to it have included Fleming and Langer.
"It would be an amazing job, [but] I have [put myself out of contention]," Langer said on BBC's Stumped podcast. "I also know that it's an all-encompassing role, and having done it for four years with the Australian team, honestly, it's exhausting. And that's the Australian job!"
Would he never want to do it, Langer was asked, and he said, "You never say never. And the pressure of doing it in India… I was talking to KL Rahul [the captain at Lucknow Super Giants, where Langer is the head coach] 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.
"It would be an awesome job, but not for me at the moment."
As for Fleming, Viswanathan said on CSK's YouTube channel, "I know that it's not going to be his cup of tea because he doesn't like to be involved [in coaching] for nine-ten months in a year. That's my feeling. I have not discussed anything more with him."
The BCCI has said that the head coach's role will be across all three formats for three and a half years starting July 2024 until December 2027.
Dravid began his two-year term after the 2021 T20 World Cup. His stint was due to end after the 2023 ODI World Cup in November last year, but he agreed to an extension until the end of the upcoming T20 World Cup.