Sourav Ganguly reveals how Rahul Dravid agreed to take India’s head coach role

Even though the entire board and administration were always keen to have Rahul Dravid as the senior Indian team’s head coach, getting him to take the job was not simple, according to Sourav Ganguly, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Ganguly acknowledged that he had almost given up on the idea of bringing Dravid on board because the latter was not convinced despite Ganguly’s and the BCCI secretary Jay Shah’s repeated requests. Dravid was initially hesitant to take the job because of its demanding nature, which required him to spend significant time away from home as India continues to be one of the busiest cricketing nations, according to the former star.

“We had Rahul in mind for a long time, both me and Jay [Shah, BCCI secretary], but he wouldn’t agree because of the time away from home [and] because doing a national team’s job is [about] being on the road for about 8-9 months in a year, and he has two young children,” Ganguly said in an interview with Boria Majumdar on the show ‘Backstage with Boria.’

“At one time, we gave up, but he was selected as the chairman of NCA (National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru) to oversee the situation and move things ahead. We had completed all of his interviews and applications, and he had been appointed to the NCA. But we kept insisting even after he was appointed,” he added.

After a few personal calls, during which Ganguly also conveyed to Dravid that not only the BCCI but also the players, want him on board, the 47-year-old consented. “And when we talked to the players about what kind of person they want, you could obviously tell that there was a preference for Rahul, so we told him about it. I know it’s hard, but give it a try for two years, and if you find it too difficult, we’ll find another way,’ I told him several times. Fortunately, he accepted, and I’m not sure what prompted his change of heart, but I believe this is the best BCCI could have done in terms of coaching after Ravi [Shastri] left.” Dravid, who took over as captain when Shastri’s term ended at the end of the 2021 T20 World Cup, will remain with the squad until the 2023 ODI World Cup, which will be held in India.