New Delhi: Former South African opener Herschelle Gibbs has thrown his hat in the race to become the next coach of the Indian women’s cricket team. Gibbs is the most unexpected candidate among those believed to have applied for the post which includes experienced international coaches such as Dav Whatmore, Venkatesh Prasad and Tom Moody.
Gibbs, who turned out for South Africa in 90 Tests, 248 ODIs and 23 T20s, began his coaching career by guiding Kuwait in their bid to qualify for the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia. More recently he was appointed the head coach of Afghanistan Premier League (APL) franchise Balkh Legends.
“Yes, Gibbs is very much interested in the role of women’s coach,” a source close to him confirmed to CricketNext. “It is a very prestigious job, to be associated with the Indian national team. He has applied for the position and hopes to be called for the interview soon.”
Gibbs later confirmed the development via his Twitter account.
I’ve put my name forward yes.. — Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) December 9, 2018
Since it was advertised for, the job is becoming a much-sought after opportunity for established coaches from around the world with the two-year contract from the BCCI reportedly offering a substantial Rs. 3 to 4 crores a year. It is understood that the chairman of Committee of Administrators (CoA) Vinod Rai will take the final call on the appointment.
“The women’s team has been performing quite well recently. They have managed to improve a lot over the last year. We want a high-profile coach for the women’s team as well, who can push them and guide them to greater success. That is why we are sparing no expense on hiring of a new coach,” a CoA source informed CricketNext.
Another South African, Ray Jennings, is also considering applying.
"I haven't made up my mind yet. India is like my second home,” Jennings told CricketNext. “I have to do some homework, look at where all they are touring, what are the challenges and future assignments of the team. But if Herschelle has applied, he'll do a good job if picked."
With the board and CoA looking for high-profile names, it is unlikely that outgoing coach Ramesh Powar will be considered for the position even if he applies again. The BCCI will be accepting applications till December 14 with the interviews expected to take place on December 20 by a panel featuring former India cricketer Anshuman Gaekwad, and possibly legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev.
Meanwhile, PTI reported that former Indian seamer Manoj Prabhakar too has applied for the job.
"Yes, I have applied for the chief coach's post. It would be an honour to serve the country's national cricket team in any capacity," he said. "There is so much talent in women's game and I think I have the experience to help the likes of Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana."
Former India paceman and men’s team bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad has opened door for his application after stepping down from his position as Kings XI Punjab bowling coach recently.
Australian Whatmore, on the other hand, is currently the head coach of Kerala Ranji team.
The BCCI advertisement states that the applicant “Needs to be a Level C qualified coach, should have played international cricket, or coached an international team for at least one year, or Coached in a T20 tournament for two seasons, or played at least 50 first-class matches.”