Gambhir appointed India head coach

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NEW DELHI (AP):

TWO-TIME WORLD Cup winner Gautam Gambhir has been appointed head coach of India men’s cricket team in all formats, starting later this month with the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka.

“India is my identity and serving my country has been the greatest privilege of my life. I am honoured to be back, albeit wearing a different hat,” the former batter said on X.

“But my goal is the same as it has always been, to make every Indian proud. The Men in Blue shoulder the dreams of 1.4 billion Indians and I will do everything in my power to make these dreams come true.”

BCCI secretary Jay Shah made the announcement on X yesterday evening.

As a batter, Gambhir was part of the 2011 Cricket World Cup and 2007 T20 World Cup-winning India teams. The left-hander played a key role in the finals of both tournaments.

Gambhir was ICC’s Test player of the year in 2009. He also led Kolkata Knight Riders to twin victories in the Indian Premier League in 2012 and 2014. He retired from international cricket in 2016 with 10,324 runs across all three formats. He then retired from all cricket in 2018, playing the final season of IPL for Delhi Capitals (then Delhi Daredevils).

“Modern-day cricket has evolved rapidly, and Gautam has witnessed this changing landscape up close,” Shah said.

“Having endured the grind and excelled in various roles throughout his career, I am confident that Gautam is the ideal person to steer Indian cricket forward.”

Sri Lanka will host India for three T20s and three ODIs, beginning July 27, with batting stars Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli expected to be rested for the ODI series.

Gambhir has never officially coached a cricket team. After retiring as a player, he took up mentorship of Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, and then was mentor of Kolkata Knight Riders in 2024, guiding the franchise to a third IPL title.

He takes over from Rahul Dravid, who led India to its T20 World Cup triumph last month.

The new coach will lead India through some key assignments in the next two years, including the five-Test tour of Australia in November, the 2025 Champions Trophy (currently scheduled to be hosted in Pakistan) and the 2026 T20 World Cup (co-hosted by India and Sri Lanka).

India are also currently on path to secure qualification for the 2025 World Test Championship final.

Gambhir, along with India’s cricket selectors, will help rebuild the Indian team for the 2026 World Cup following the T20 retirements of star players Sharma, Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja.

The BCCI had initially advertised the coaching role for a three-and-a-half-year role until December 2027, and as such, Gambhir’s tenure is also expected to include the 2027 Cricket World Cup in South Africa.

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