The former England coach, Duncan Fletcher, has been appointed coach of the Indian cricket team for a period of two years. He takes over from the highly successful Gary Kirsten.
The 62-year-old Fletcher was a path-breaking coach for England from 1999 to 2007. During his tenure, England registered its first Ashes triumph in 18 years and recorded significant away Test series victories in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the West Indies and South Africa.
As a player, he excelled as an all-rounder — he was an aggressive left-handed batsman and bowled tight right-arm medium pace for Zimbabwe. The highlight of his career was when he skippered Zimbabwe to a stunning win over Australia in a group match of the 1983 World Cup in England. He led from the front too, scoring 69 not out and claiming four wickets for 42.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided on Fletcher for the top job at its working committee meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday. Eric Simons' role as the bowling coach was extended.
BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan said Fletcher might not join the side during India's tour of the West Indies beginning early June. The new coach would, however, be part of the side for the full tour of England from mid-July.
The taciturn Fletcher, much like Kirsten, shuns the limelight. He has earned respect for strategic brilliance and out-of-the-box thinking.
As England coach, he forged impressive partnerships with captains Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan. Fletcher has also played a key role in the development of Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen. He has the reputation for backing ability, and not numbers.
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