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May 30, 2012
Newly appointed Bangladesh coach Richard Pybus believes that more than the two stints as Pakistan coach, his experience in South Africa will serve him in good stead for his new role. Pybus was in charge of three South African teams, provincial side Border and franchises, the Titans and the Cobras. He won eight trophies with the two franchises and could be regarded as the most successful coach on the country's domestic scene.
"Working in Africa helps you understand a lot of things. You are surrounded by diversity and multiculturalism," Pybus told ESPNcricinfo from Cape Town, where he was packing his bags for the departure to Dhaka. "Working with the franchises also helps, you learn about what it takes to win and how to build winning teams and winning mindsets. I worked with two franchises with a lot of international players and we did very well. In Pakistan, I gained a lot of cultural understanding because you can make faux pas if you are naïve."
Pybus has not coached an international side since his time with Pakistan in 2003 but was handpicked by the BCB as a replacement for Stuart Law. He is known for his innovative coaching methods, such as teaching players to juggle to improve their peripheral version, and he believes he is ripe to take up the "fantastic challenge" of coaching a national team again.
Although the Bangladesh job could be seen as unenviable one, given the country's status as bottom ranked Test team and lowest ranked-Test team in ODIs, Pybus sees it as an "engaging and unique" task.
He said his most pressing job will be combining the need to develop with the ability to win, and that he is prepared to take the time he needs to get that balance right. "Because Bangladesh are a young side, there may be an acceptance that is all about development, and that is not right," he said. "I will work on a system based on excellence. I want to be playing winning cricket, to create multi-format players, to focus on being competitive enough to be able to win series."
Pybus acknowledged that to create a winning culture, he will have to overcome mental barriers before concentrating on technical aspects of the game. "Bangladesh are only just starting to discover their self-belief, you could see that in the Asia Cup," he said. "When you start to win games, you build that ability to cross a mental bridge and winning becomes something tangible to you. They have a history of coaches who have helped them build the platform and I will have to continue building on it.
"The first thing will be to sort out what incremental steps needs to be taken to ensure there is competition for places and a sense among players that there will be opportunities for them if they consistently perform and put pressure [for places in the national side]."
Pybus visited Bangladesh earlier this month to negotiate his contract with the BCB and said he was excited by what he saw. "The facilities are world-class, they have a nice indoor centre but more than any of that, it was the incredible passion and lovely sense of energy about where cricket in the country is going."
He will begin work next week and his first assignment will be an unofficial Twenty20 tri-series in Zimbabwe, which will also feature South Africa. Pybus knows the vast majority of the South African players and said the series will give him a good opportunity to assess the team, "get to know the players and find out what makes them tick."
His family, including two young children, will remain in South Africa for now, but Pybus has not ruled out the possibility of moving them to Bangladesh once he has settled in.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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