Why not stick to Indian coaches?

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NOT QUITE THERE: In spite of the BCCI’s preference for foreign coaches, the Indian team has not yet shaped well under Gary Kirsten.
NOT QUITE THERE: In spite of the BCCI’s preference for foreign coaches, the Indian team has not yet shaped well under Gary Kirsten.

Getting foreign coaches who have not performed is a dangerous trend, writes Makarand Waingankar

Dahiya coached Delhi to a Ranji Trophy win

Mhambrey and Debu Mitra have also done well

Has Gary Kirsten failed as the Indian coach? When Greg Chappell was setting up a process to mould Dhoni and other novices into the international category a couple of seasons back, he was criticised. But most of them are now experienced enough to handle any situation. Yet under Kirsten, the Indians are not shaping well. Why then are Indian coaches not preferred?

The BCCI had, through a circular, urged State associations to appoint Level III qualified coaches but had not instructed them not to appoint foreign coaches. The Chairman of the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) was the first to get a foreign coach a couple of seasons ago. For the current season the MCA has appointed Shaun Williams, an Aussie who was with Bangladesh.

There is news that Terry Jenner might replace Vijay Dahiya at Delhi though Dahiya, through excellent man-management, created an environment in the team for players to play responsibly and with some purpose that helped Delhi win the Ranji Trophy. Eventually that is what matters.

Paras Mhambrey, for the two seasons that he was with Bengal, got them to the final with a similar approach. It’s not clear why Dahiya is being replaced with Jenner who may have had a hand in moulding Shane Warne but was never considered for a team coach’s position in Australia.

That not very many former international cricketers of repute are available for coaching is a fact. Either they are not inclined to coaching or the lure of the big package for television commentary is preferred as it is less demanding.


The trend of inviting foreigners by States which had recommended their coaches for the Level II and III is a bit confusing. The Indian coaches work hard to get through those tough courses only to find themselves not being used by the very associations which had recommended them.

Quite a few of the State teams of the BCCI’s office-bearers are coached by non-qualified coaches, but their argument is that these coaches have brought them results. One of the non-qualified coaches is Debu Mitra of Saurashtra. Not only has his team made it to the semifinal of the Ranji Trophy but also won the Ranji Trophy one-dayers.

The argument of the associations inviting the foreign coaches is that they have the experience to get the desired results whereas the qualified Indian coaches get too technical for the comfort of the players. More than the technicalities, it’s the strategy which helps you get runs and wickets, and that’s something these foreign coaches are good at. At least that is what is projected.

Getting foreign coaches who have not performed to replace proven coaches like Chandrakant Pandit and Vijay Dahiya is a dangerous trend. If qualified Indian coaches are not wanted, the NCA should immediately stop all the coaching courses. It’s a waste of time and money to train someone and then fail to utilise their expertise.

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