27 April 2011

Fletcher and the Indian coaching job

While the World Cup was on I read Behind the Shades- the autobiography of the new Indian coach Duncan Fletcher. A few things stood out. The first was the fact that Fletcher can't agree to disagree....he holds grudges and the whole book is an exercise in score-settling. The second is that he holds Gary Kirsten in extremely high regard and they clearly have a good relationship (the book was written before Kirsten got the India job). The third is that he makes it clear the (negative) impact the England job had on his family. And the fourth is that he's ambitious and the book demonstrates that he's been successful in all his coaching roles and wants to continue to challenge himself.

The second point means that Kirsten would have put in a good word for him in relation to the Indian coaching role (once Fletcher said he was interested) and Kirsten's word would have been taken very seriously as following the World Cup win, he is now revered for life in India. The third about the impact on his family may have been a problem for him, but the fourth point - his ambitious nature - meant that he would never let his family stop him from taking the top (and toughest) coaching job in cricket, and as they understand him presumably they wouldn't want to stop him either.

But it's the first point that makes me worry for him. Indian cricket is full of politics and back-stabbing - right now there will be a group of people who wanted someone else to be coach who will be undermining him. And there will be numerous leaks of information, something that he mentions time and time again riles him, so unless he changes his attitude he's going to have only himself to speak to for fear of a leak. How he deals with the administrative challenges of the Indian coaching role will determine how successful he is...

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