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Former Australian coach Justin Langer rules himself out of race to lead Indian national team

Jackson Barrett
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Lucknow Super Giants coach Justin Langer has ruled himself out of taking India’s top job.
Lucknow Super Giants coach Justin Langer has ruled himself out of taking India’s top job. Credit: IDREES MOHAMMED/AFP

Australian cricket legend Justin Langer has ruled himself out of the race to become India’s next head coach.

Reports out of the cricket-mad nation linked the champion opener and former Australian coach to the job Rahul Dravid will depart at the end of next month’s Twenty20 World Cup.

Langer, who has just finished the Indian Premier League season coaching Lucknow Super Giants, joins long-time teammate and friend Ricky Ponting in knocking back the position.

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”I was asked by a number of journalists if I’d be interested — which was very flattering,” Langer told The West Australian.

“But, as amazing a job it would be, it’s not for me right now. I loved my experience in the IPL with the Lucknow Super Giants and I look forward to being involved again next season.”

The former WA and Perth Scorchers coach and The West Australian columnist missed out on the IPL playoffs in his first season at the helm, but his Super Giants finished with an even 7-7 record.

India heads to Australia later this year for a blockbuster five-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy series that begins at Optus Stadium in November.

Ponting, the long-time coach of David Warner’s Delhi Capitals in the IPL, said the intensive job “just doesn’t fit into my lifestyle right now”.

“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,” Ponting said in an ICC interview.

“I’d love to be a senior coach of a national team, but with the other things that I have in my life and wanting to have a bit of time at home.

Ricky Ponting has also turned down offers to coach India.
Ricky Ponting has also turned down offers to coach India. Credit: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

“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 as well.”

Fellow IPL coaches Gautam Gambhir and New Zealand great Stephen Fleming — the former boss of the Melbourne Stars — have also been linked to the role, with Gambhir a popular candidate in his home country.

Greg Chappell is the only Australian to coach the Indian national team. His controversy-plagued three-year stint ended in 2007.

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