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February 14, 2012
India will replace their bowling coach Eric Simons with former Queensland fast bowler Joe Dawes at the end of the tour of Australia. Simons' contract expires after the tour, ending his two-year tenure with the Indian team.
The topic of Simons' contract was brought up at the BCCI working committee meeting in Chennai on Monday. Replacing him is the first change India will make to their support staff after losing their last eight away Tests.
Simons said he did not want to continue with the Indian team beyond the Australia tour. "The full story is that after the World Cup, Duncan Fletcher asked me to stay on. I agreed to stay on until after the England tour. I was then asked to continue to Australia and told them that I would not be able to extend beyond that," he said. "During the West Indies series in India, I was asked if I would reconsider and said that I could not, as I had effectively been away from home for two years. I was never going to continue beyond the Australia series."
MS Dhoni, the India captain, was full of praise for Simons. "Eric has been brilliant," he said. "He has been with us for quite some time. He knows our culture, how we work, and he understands each and every bowler. What's also important is what we speak and what we mean [they can be different]. Sometimes the bowlers say something, but they mean something else. That only comes in once the bowling coach has spent some time with the youngsters and the bowlers who are set in the side. Had a good experience with him, and hopefully the new bowling coach, whoever comes, does a good job."
Simons, who joined India as a bowling consultant in 2010, was named coach of the Delhi Daredevils for the 2012 IPL season. A former South Africa allrounder, Simons was initially part of Gary Kirsten's coaching staff, but remained with the squad when Kirsten did not renew his contract after the 2011 World Cup.
India's new bowling coach, Dawes, played 76 first-class matches for Queensland between 1997 and 2005, often having to wait his turn behind Australia bowlers Michael Kasprowicz and Andy Bichel. His career was cut short by a knee injury following which he became involved in coaching. He started with Queensland and also worked part-time for Middlesex and the Marylebone Cricket Club. He became bowling coach of South Australia in June 2011 and was also bowling coach of the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League 2011-12.
"Joe has made a big impact in a short time," South Australian Cricket Association's director of cricket Jamie Cox said, "and while we are sad to see him go, we are very happy that one of our coaching staff has made the move into the international arena.
"Joe has made a great contribution with our young bowling group, known colloquially as the 'Wolf Pack'. Working alongside Darren Berry, he has helped instill some real toughness and integrity into the group."
Dawes worked well with the young bowlers at South Australia and has helped them reach the top of the table in the ongoing Ryobi Cup. He said he was optimistic about the abilities of young India bowlers. "I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Darren Berry and being part of the culture he has fostered with the Redbacks and the Strikers," Dawes said. "To be able to take that knowledge and apply it in the international arena was too great an opportunity to miss.
"I can also see lots of emerging talent within the Indian group and it is very exciting to be able to move into a strong system within the BCCI."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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