Not Anil Kumble, but his former teammate was first choice for India coach

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Not Anil Kumble, but his former teammate was first choice for India coach

The long-drawn drama of the appointment of India's cricket coach ended yesterday when Anil Kumble was handed over the job for a one-year term. But, BCCI President Anurag Thakur revealed on the eve of the decision that it was Rahul Dravid who they had approached first, but that he had turned it down.

Jumbo's appointment over 56 other candidates including heavyweights like Ravi Shastri was widely welcomed by current and former cricketers as well as Indian fans. But, it appears his former Karnataka and India teammate and one of the finest batsmen to play the game, Rahul Dravid was approached well before Kumble threw his hat in the ring.

Speaking on the eve of Kumble's appointment, BCCI President Anurag Thakur revealed, "I requested Rahul Dravid to coach the Indian team. He didn't say no, but said that he will work for the junior team", reported NDTV.

Also read: Why BCCI's dramatic head coach selection process is nothing but a farce

Dravid had coached the India U-19 team for the U-19 World Cup earlier this year. The lads had played admirably and looked the team to beat but lost the final to a resurgent West Indies team. Dravid then took up the role of mentor for Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2016. The new-look young squad punched beyond their weight in the initial half of the tournament, but meandered through the second to lose out on a play-off spot. Amid all this, Dravid was heavily linked to the job, although any moves in this direction ultimately fell through. But, it now appears it was the former captain who spurned the job.

That is the good thing about Dravid, he didn't go for the senior team post, big money and all. He wanted to work for the junior cricketers and not the senior team," Thakur said, reported NDTV.

In typical 'Dravid' fashion, the legend had turned the offer down in order to concentrate on his work with the junior levels of the sport coaching and mentoring younger players.

Also read: Barinder Sran | The journey from Bhiwani's boxing ring to Harare

However, it appears now is the best of times for Indian cricket with two of the finest men to wear the blue jersey coaching the junior and senior team at the same time.

Also read: Rahul, Sran, and other rising stars from India’s tour to Zimbabwe 

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