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Gavaskar, Kapil criticise Fletcher's appointment

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 28, 2011

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Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev at a function celebrating the silver jubilee of the 1983 World Cup win, Bangalore, June 3, 2008
Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev - Not fans of foreign coaches © AFP
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Former India captains Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev have criticised the appointment of Duncan Fletcher as the coach of the national team, saying the BCCI should have instead picked a former India player.

"Someone like [Mohinder] Amarnath would have been a better choice for the simple reason that the core of the Indian team today is from the Hindi-speaking belt," Gavaskar told the NDTV news channel. "He would have got on brilliantly with this group as well as the seniors. It would have been a lot easier for Amarnath to understand and interact with the players.

"Apart from that he has got a fabulous record of making comebacks, he knows what it is to be down and then come back up. There is a perception and a wrong one that an Indian [coach] can be influenced and that he will get involved in politics. You are presuming that he cannot be a strong person."

Kapil said Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad, who were fielding and bowling coaches of the side for more than two years until October 2009, should have got the nod again. "Who is Duncan Fletcher?," Kapil, who played against Fletcher in the 1983 World Cup, asked the Hindustan Times newspaper. "That happened almost 30 years ago. I don't remember much of him as a player. I would like to see Prasad and Robin as coaches of the Indian team. Not because they are Indians but because they did a great job at the T20 World Cup in 2007."

The BCCI have not appointed an Indian coach since the era of John Wright, under whose watch India began to win consistently abroad and made the final of the 2003 World Cup. Greg Chappell, who took over from Wright, endured mixed results, including an ignominious first-round exit at the 2007 World Cup. Gary Kirsten, who was recommended by a panel that incidentally included Gavaskar, oversaw another turnaround, taking India to the top of the Test ranking table before ending his stint with a win in the 2011 World Cup.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by hahn on (April 30, 2011, 11:19 GMT)

Fletcher is a poor choice for the coach's job. The standards of work ethic set by Gary Kirsten should not have been entrusted to someone like him, i think Justin Langer would have fitted in better.

Posted by   on (April 30, 2011, 9:14 GMT)

Why are the yester year greats like Gavaskar and Kapil still having old days mentality like players from Hindi belt would be getting on well with Jimmy Amarnath/ other Indian coaches, this is exactly the problem. Are they writing off cricketers from Non Hindi belt from joining the Indian squad in the next year or two??? We have seen in the past and present, when yester year greats sit as selectors, they seem to favour may be ever so slightly to someone from their respective region / state boards. We are country of diverse culture and language united by INDIA....but to be impartial and to pick and groom the right talent to the team, it will be better if we have a foreign coach.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (April 30, 2011, 2:54 GMT)

Stephen Fleming would have been the best coach. Great player and great person he gets on with anybody. Fleming has played in every cricketing country and has player with most of the current Indian team. Only reason I can see not picking Fleming is that he is inexperienced with only about 3-4 years under his belt.

Posted by   on (April 29, 2011, 9:59 GMT)

India should come out of Gavaskar-mania. He was one of the most selfish player ever played for India....Remember his 36* or 60 overs!! or when he walked off the field against the Aussies in the test match!He should be kept out of India's Cricket decisions as far as possible. Why was Hindi speaking core was not an issue for Gary Kirsten!

Posted by HarishVS on (April 29, 2011, 8:45 GMT)

Both of these are legendary cricketers of India and command respect by their deeds as well as their thinking abilities on cricket. May be they are just of the view that the appointment of Duncan may not be suitable for this Indian team. Gavaskar has already supported Kirsten and other coaches and hence is not totally against any foreign coaches. May be he got vivid with Duncan's selection and did not put up his words as exactly as he would have actually meant. And Kapil also looks clearly angry with Duncan's name and this is his reaction. So instead of criticising these greats for their slightly off guard comments, my question is, is Duncan the right candidate to succeed Gary? Time only will let us know this.. Anyway I am not ready to anything lesser than No.1 position for Dhoni's Team in all forms of the game!

Posted by   on (April 29, 2011, 7:19 GMT)

Coaching is not about character, language skills, or how well you performed during your heyday. It is about an ability to identify/rectify/implement/enhance certain skills of a performer. It is also not a pension fund for past cricketers who contributed well to Indian cricket but couldn't cash in. A coach needs to be a good communicator but that doesn't mean he should be able to speak hindi. Tomorrow if you find a cricketer who doesn't speak hindi/english you will never be able to put him in the team because of these constraints. Rather BCCI could employ an english (not country, meaning english as in speaking) interpreter/teacher for the players.

Really sad to see Gavaskar who generally is shrewd, to point out something as trivial as Hindi speaking ability

Posted by Fujixerox on (April 29, 2011, 7:07 GMT)

Foreign coaches including John Wright and Gary Kristen have proven themselves and hence it would be inappropriate to get a domestic coach now. Secondly, Gavaskar's comment on bulk of the players from Hindi-speaking belt. Does it mean that non-Hindi speaking players will not be selected or due to the coach's limitation, only Hindi-speaking will be selected which will leave out Vijay, Ashwin, Sreesanth and Bihar. I think English is more universal and no problem for our engineer-cricketers whose English is best in the world.

Posted by kandynosori on (April 29, 2011, 6:46 GMT)

duncan fletcher's appointment comes at a best time for the indian team. Sunilgavaskar, kapildev and other big names are good cricketers but they can't become a good coach. robinsingh, venkatesh prasad were stop gap coach but could not produce good results in feilding and bowling dept, records speak. If u look at the present english team KP, Strauss, Collingwood etc.,, where groomed during duncan's tenure which is now producing results. indian cricketers cannot become a good coach for example jimmy amarnath was a coach of kenyan team and sandeep patil also coached kenya but could not produce good results. Duncan fletcher can develop the indian team bench strenghfor next decade after the retirement of big three musketeers( Sachin the god Tendulkar, Rahul the Wall Dravid, Very very special laxman)

Posted by siddhant328 on (April 29, 2011, 6:24 GMT)

I think Mohinder Amarnath would have been a better selection than Duncan Fletcher, but the reason should not be the language spoken by team members. Being an Indian, everyone must know Hindi and being an international stalwart one needs to have good grip on English as well. But if anybody supports Duncan Fletcher only because he/she has doubt on capabilities of an Indian coach, I must have to say that currently since we are new World Champions, this attitude among players is always there and what a coach needs to exercise is to just maintain the same attitude. It was the absolute moment when dependency on foreigners necessitated to be avoided. Fletcher, however might be a good coach. No doubt, he owns a vast experience. And sometimes, people who were not very good players in their times use to prove as a good coach. But, my sixth sense is indicating that he might go on to have a session similar to those of Greg Chappell or Bob Woolmer. It all happens in subcontinent...... Aameen..

Posted by   on (April 29, 2011, 6:17 GMT)

Yep north and south divide again. anyways the current trend is that the south guys also know Hindi language as they learn more. so an indian coach also could have been a good idea. but by dividing india into north and south has made me loose respect for both gawasker and kapil to the lowest ever for them.

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