List of India coaching candidates

We remember the ones that got the job of the coach of the India Men. We perhaps remember some of them who did not make the final cut. Some applicants, however, are not as well-remembered.

Desmond Haynes

The BCCI invited applications for the next coach when John Wright’s stint came to an end in 2005. Apart from Tom Moody, a quintessential applicant for the role over the years, there was Haynes, who had had stints with Sussex, Hampshire, and Barbados in multiple capacities. He emerged from the interview with an air of confidence. When the media asked him whether he was the dark horse in the race, he famously pointed at himself and agreed, referring to his complexion. He did not get the job.

Mohinder Amarnath

The only Indian among the shortlisted candidates that year, Amarnath brought his tech-savvy brother-in-law to the meeting to help him with the laptop. Allotted 45 minutes, his presentation lasted two hours, but the committee – S Venkataraghavan, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri – was not convinced. Greg Chappell got the job ahead of Amarnath, Haynes, and Moody. Captain Sourav Ganguly, with whom Chappell would later have a feud, was the one who had proposed Chappell’s name for the role. 

Dav Whatmore

The job was up for the grabs yet again in 2007, when Chappell resigned after India’s first-round exit at the World Cup in the West Indies. The BCCI had a conversation with Dav Whatmore, who had coached Sri Lanka to a World Cup title in 1996. In end-May, there were reports of Whatmore accepting the role, but in early June, the BCCI told the media “you can say that Whatmore is out”.


Graham Ford

Ford coached South Africa in the aftermath of the match-fixing scandal of 2000. The BCCI had turned to him once Whatmore was out of contention, but Ford could not accept the offer “on short notice because of his commitments to Kent”.

John Emburey

The day after Ford’s rejection, Emburey – former England captain and, at that point, Middlesex director of cricket – turned down the offer as well. India travelled to England with Chandu Borde as manager but without a coach. They still won the Test series 1-0.

Mike Hesson

Ravi Shastri’s stint as coach came to an end after the 2019 World Cup. There were many applications, including from Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh, but the Cricket Advisory Committee – Shantha Rangaswamy, Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad – unanimously reappointed Shastri. The CAC announced that Moody was third on their list of shortlisted candidates, while Hesson, former New Zealand coach and Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) coach, was second.

Honorable mentions: Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri

Only once did Gavaskar step in as coach, though the role went by “manager” back then. The Indian team was left without a coach when Ajit Wadekar had a heart attack during the 1994 Austral-Asia Cup in Sharjah. Gavaskar stepped in from the commentary box to fulfil the role.

India toured Bangladesh shortly after the 2007 World Cup got over (and Chappell resigned). With no coach, Shastri stepped in for the tour, but opted out of subsequent assignments.

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