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Thursday, December 5, 2019

how much of value-add does a Coach brings in to the team !!

Way back in Dec 1974, India won the Test at Calcutta against the mighty West Indies led by Clive Lloyd………there were two debutants in that test – Anshuman Gaekwad and Karsan Devraj Ghavri ….both went on the play longer……….. but not many of  you might know that it was one of those Tests when India had two fast bowlers opening the attack – Madanlal and Ghavri. Ghavri in fact bowled 14 overs and took 2 wickets in that match…. In the next match at Chepauk, [remembered for the win and that brilliant knock by the little Master Gundappa Vishnawath on a green top against quality Andy Roberts] – Ghavri chipped in with a good knock of unbeaten 35 and a good partnership, which was instrumental in setting up a good target for an Indian win…  ~ a target of 255 for Greenidge, Fredricks, Kallicharan, Lloyd, Richards, Murray, Boyce, Holder….fell short by 100 runs.   In the 1978-79 Series, when West Indies toured India under Alwin Kalicharran, at Chepauk, Herbert Chang  (ever heard of him !) was left with a bloody mouth.  Chang, of Chinese origin was a left hander played a solitary test – in the second essay, Karsan Ghavri’s bouncer hit him, he was injured, fell on the stumps and was out hit wicket. 

                                   Do you know  what connects Indian Cricketers – Bishan Bedi, Abbas Ali Baig, Ajit Wadekar, Sandeep Paril, Madanlal, Anshuman Gaekwad &  Kapil Dev – in the same order ?

Read about a man -   Angelo Dundee born in Philadelphia- being the  man in the corner helping Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman on their paths to greatness. His most famous moment came with Leonard, when he shouted "You're blowing it son! You're blowing it!" at his man at the end of his 13th  round against Thomas Hearns. Leonard picked himself up and flattened Hearns in the very next round.  .. .. we have seen Coaches gesticulating angrily and passionately from the sides – one well known name Jose Mourinho was  close to tears after admitting his time away from football has made him realise how much he loves the game. The 56-year-old was sacked by Manchester United in Dec 2018 after a disastrous start to the season, which saw the club trail then leaders Liverpool by 19 points.  Since his exit, Mourinho has taken time out of the game and returned to his hometown of Setubal, but revealed he has a void in his life without football.

There would always be unending debates on who makes a great coach and whether a coach can really transform an ordinary team to greater heights ~ remember when Kapil Dev lifted the Prudential World Cup in 1983, the only official was manager Mansingh who perhaps took care of administrative matters. On the other hand, one  man changed the fortunes of New Zealand Cricket yet  suddenly announced his retirement.  Before the 2015 WC, Kiwis have made to the semis of WC 6 times, but never got into the finals. In 2015 in front of their home crowds, they were on a roll, marching to the finals unbeaten, but failed against their trans-Tasman rivals.   The man, the coach - Mike Hesson.  New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has done more to show that a paucity of playing experience need not be a barrier to a plum coaching job. His coaching journey began accidentally. When he was a player for Otago A aged 21, he was offered a contract for a club in Cambridgeshire in England on the condition that he was involved in coaching too.  At 23, when he gained coaching qualification,  Otago appointed Hesson coaching director, working under Glenn Turner. He remained there for six years. After taking up an offer to become Argentina's coach, Hesson returned to Otago a year later, replacing Turner as head coach.  Kenya provided  Hesson's  international job when he was hired after the 2011 World Cup. Only 11 months later he resigned, fearing for his family's security after his family fell victim to an attempted car-jacking and a grenade exploded near their house in Nairobi. When John Wright quit as New Zealand coach in 2012, Hesson became one of the few full-time coaches of a Test nation not to have played a single first-class match. 

New Zealand have been awarded the Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket award for their "sporting conduct" in the aftermath of the World Cup final at Lord's. Kane Williamson's side were beaten to the trophy after a tied super over in the final by virtue of having scored fewer boundaries, and were praised by the judging panel for their "sportsmanship, humility and selflessness in defeat" following Jos Buttler's run-out of Martin Guptill. The award, created in 2013 by the MCC and the BBC in memory of the broadcasting great, is presented annually to the player or team that has "best epitomised the principles of playing hard but fair". "In the heat of battle they displayed a level of sportsmanship that was fitting for such a fantastic final, and indeed tournament.

Now comes the news that former  Indian pacer Karsan Ghavri has been appointed as the coach for the Saurashtra Ranji team. The 68-year-old Ghavri, a former left-arm speedster, played 39 Tests and 19 One-Day Internationals, picking up 109 and 15 wickets respectively in the two formats. Saurashtra finished runners-up in the last Ranji season after losing to Vidarbha in the final.

Bishen Singh Bedi, the crafty left-arm spinner of the famous quartet, who led the Indian team too was the first Indian Coach who reportedly was so upset with team performance in New Zealand that he was quoted as saying of dumping the team into the Ocean.  

Then came Abbas Ali Baig, Ajit Wadekar,  Sandeep Madhusudhan Patil, S Madanlal, Anshuman Gaekwad, the great Kapil Dev Nikhanj,  John Wright, Greg Chappen, Gary Kirsten, Duncan Fletcher, Ravi Shastri, Sanjay Bangar, Anil Kumble and … … Ravi Shastri again.

Media reports suggested that Ravi Shastri is set for a pay hike after being retained head coach of Indian cricket team, last month. According to a report in Mumbai Mirror, there could get a 20 per cent increase and his revised annual package would be somewhere between Rs 9.5 crore and Rs 10 crore. Previously, Shastri was drawing about Rs 8 crore. Other members of the support staff are also expected to get a pay hike, with bowling coach Bharat Arun getting Rs 3.5 crore, as will fielding coach R. Sridhar. However, Vikram Rathour, who replaced Sanjay Bangar as the batting coach may draw somewhere around Rs 2.5 to Rs 3 crore. Mike Hesson and Tom Moody were in the race to become the new India head coach, but the Cricket Advisory Committee decided to reappoint Shastri.

West Indies have appointed Monty Desai as the batting coach of the senior men's team on a two-year contract. Desai, who has held coaching roles with Afghanistan, Nepal, Indian regional teams and IPL teams Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat Lions in a career of over 12 years, most recently worked with batsmen from the UAE and Canada.  .. .. and in the island Nation, Mickey Arthur is set to take over as Sri Lanka's head coach. SLC has agreed a two-year contract with Arthur, the former South Africa, Australia and Pakistan coach, with a formal announcement to be made shortly. Joining his backroom staff will be Grant Flower as batting coach, David Saker as bowling coach, and Shane McDermott as fielding coach, in what is a complete overhaul of the team's coaching setup. Arthur is the 11th  head coach of the Sri Lanka men's team in the last eight years.

New Zealand spinner, Jeetan Patel has been appointed as England's spin-bowling consultant for the tours of South Africa and Sri Lanka. Patel, who performed a similar role during the T20I leg of England's tour of New Zealand, will join the England squad on December 24 ahead of the first Test in Centurion on Boxing Day. As a result, Patel will end his long and illustrious career with Wellington later this month. His final match will be in the Super Smash encounter against Central Stags at the Basin Reserve on December 18. He made his debut for Wellington, the city of his birth, in 2000. He remains committed to playing one final season for Warwickshire, the club he has represented since 2009, in 2020. He will be 40 in May.

Interesting ! ~  and what do you feel on the importance of a coach shaping the destiny of the team ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
5th Dec 2019.

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