‘Never say never’ – AB de Villiers joins list of elite candidates for India’s head coach job

There is a lot of buzz around who will replace Rahul Dravid as Team India’s next head coach. While several top names, including Ricky Ponting, Justin Langer and Stephen Fleming, have popped up thus far, none is finalised yet. Adding to this elite list is another modern-day great, AB de Villiers, who revealed that he hasn’t applied for the job yet, but things can change quickly.

With Dravid’s contract ending with the conclusion of the 2024 T20 World Cup in the Americas, the BCCI had advertised for the next head coach role, who will take over the job from July 1 with immediate effect. The duration is three and a half years, ending on December 31, 2027.

Amid reports of several top names declining the chance of coaching Team India, the BCCI secretary Jay Shah said on Friday (May 24) that neither he nor the board approached any Australian for the job.

However, de Villiers admitted he would love to coach a national team but revealed he has yet to apply for this job.

“I absolutely have no idea. I do think I’ll enjoy coaching. I think there are certain elements that I won’t enjoy as much, which I will have to learn. With time, anything is possible, and I can think on my feet and learn as I move on,” De Villiers said in a chat with News18.

“But I think there are elements of a coaching job that I’ll enjoy a lot. Things that I’ve learned over the years, the maturity that I’ve got now at the age of 40, looking back, a lot of things look a lot clearer when I look back at my career. So those kinds of learnings could be valuable for some younger players, even some senior players,” the former Proteas captain continued.

‘Down the line…’

Knowing how engergy-consuming a national side coach’s role would be, De Villiers looks ready for the challenge, but down the line. 

“And I would love to work with some players and some teams in that regard. As a full-time head coach, that’s not something that comes to mind as of yet. It’s not something that really appeals to me now. But as I said, never say never. Down the line, things might change,” he said. 

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