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Pressure, politics put Langer off!

Updated on: 25 May,2024 06:32 AM IST  |  New Delhi

Former Australia cricketer Justin reveals he didn’t apply for India coach’s job after LSG skipper KL Rahul warned him of the high demands that go with it

Pressure, politics put Langer off!

India captain Rohit Sharma (centre) with teammates before the start of a T20I match against Afghanistan in Mohali earlier this year. Pic/AFP

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Pressure, politics put Langer off!

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’s 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.

‘Would be an amazing job’

“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.

Justin Langer
Justin Langer

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.

Shah denies going to Aussies

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

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