The Indian football star-turned-actor-turned pundit and TV personality will return to the country as the head coach of the Indian cricket team for the 2019 World Cup, his representative said.
Rakesh Mariappa, who has been the director of India’s women’s cricket team since November 2019, will take charge of the team as coach for the first time in a World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh at Patna on August 14.
He has been in charge of India for four World Cups, but will be the first Indian coach to lead the squad to the finals of the World Cup.
The 49-year-old, who is married to a former India captain, has been coaching Indian cricket since 2010.
“Rakeshas will be in charge for the duration of the 2019 Cricket World Cup,” his representative told The Hindu on Monday.
The Indian women’s team was eliminated from the 2019 tournament in a draw after losing to Zimbabwe and Pakistan in the semi-finals, and was ranked 148th in the world in 2019 rankings.