NEW DELHI: Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has revealed he was approached to be India’s next head cricket coach, but said the demands of the high-profile job meant he was unlikely to take it up.

Ponting, 49, is head coach of Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League and has television commitments in Australia.

He is also the head of strategy at Hobart Hurricanes for Australia’s Big Bash League and head coach of Washington Freedom in the US Major League Cricket tournament.

“I’ve seen a lot of reports about it,” Ponting was quoted as saying Thursday by the International Cricket Council website. “There were a few little one-on-one conversations during the IPL, just to get a level of interest from me as to whether I would do it,” he added.

“Everyone knows if you take a job working with the Indian team you can’t be involved in an IPL team, so it would take that out of it.”

Ponting said being a national coach would mean devoting up to 11 months of the year to the job.

“As much as I’d like to do it, it just doesn’t fit into my lifestyle right now and the things that I really enjoy doing,” he added.

The India coach job, currently held by Rahul Dravid, falls vacant after the T20 World Cup in June with the Board of Control for Cricket in India seeking a replacement until the next 50-over World Cup in 2027.

India have not won a global title since the 2013 Champions Trophy under their last foreign coach, Duncan Fletcher of Zimbabwe.

Local media reports said former India batsman Gautam Gambhir, former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming and Australian Justin Langer had also been sounded out for the job.

Ponting said his son was excited when he told him about the prospect of becoming the India coach.

“I had a whisper to my son about it, and I said, ‘Dad’s been offered the Indian coaching job’ and he said,’‘Just take it dad, we would love to move over there for the next couple of years’”, Ponting said.

“That’s how much they love being over there and the culture of cricket in India, but right now it probably doesn’t exactly fit into my lifestyle.”

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2024

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