Langer drops plan to coach India after KL cautions him of "pressure and politics"

Former Australian cricketer Justin Langer was enticed by the prospect of becoming India's head coach but KL Rahul's word of caution regarding the "pressure and politics" that come with the job dissuaded him from pursuing the "amazing" opportunity.
Australian cricketer  Justin Langer
Australian cricketer Justin Langer

New Delhi | Former Australian cricketer Justin Langer was enticed by the prospect of becoming India's head coach but KL Rahul's word of caution regarding the "pressure and politics" that come with the job dissuaded him from pursuing the "amazing" opportunity.

Langer, who served as Lucknow Super Giants' head coach this IPL season, recalled a chat with franchise skipper and a senior member of the Indian team Rahul.

"You never say never. And the pressure of doing it in India...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," Langer told the 'BBC Stumped' podcast.

"That was a good bit of advice, I guess. It would be an amazing job, (but) I have (put myself out of contention)," he added.

The BCCI has invited fresh applications for the head coach position, with a deadline set for May 27 as Rahul Dravid is set to exit after the T20 World Cup.

Before taking up the gig with LSG this year, Langer had coached Australia for four years from May 2018 to February 2022, helping the team navigate a difficult period in the aftermath of the infamous ball-tampering scandal.

Under Langer's guidance, Australia lifted their first-ever T20 World Cup title and also went on to win the Ashes.

"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!," the 53-year-old said.

Speculation was rife that the BCCI had approached Langer's former teammate and current Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting for the job.

But the World Cup-winning captain has already ruled himself out, saying the coaching gig won't suit his lifestyle.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Friday clarified that the board has not approached any former Australian cricketer with offer to coach Indian team.

"We are focused on identifying individuals who possess a deep understanding of the Indian cricket structure and have risen through the ranks," Shah said.

"It's crucial that our coach has an in-depth knowledge of our domestic cricket framework to truly elevate Team India to the next level.” Shah added.

Some other high-profile names such as Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bengaluru head coach Stephen Fleming and Andy Flower have also opted out.

Former India batter Gautam Gambhis is said to be a top contender for the position right now.

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