September 22, 1999

Kapil Dev is named coach ahead of Srikkanth

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Krish Srikkanth has been pipped at the post yet again. In a decision that surprised a few and angered as many, Kapil Dev was yesterday appointed coach of the Indian cricket team. While it was anticipated that Gaekwad's contract would not be renewed, it was popularly believed that Srikkanth would be named his successor. Srikkanth has been coach of both the India 'A' team and the Indian youth team in the past. Srikkanth has been successful at both stints.

Kapil Dev demanded a three year contract and a say in matters of team selection. While he got neither, the board has made some concessions and agreed to a two year contract. Kapil Dev will sign a two year contract shortly effective from Ocober 1st 1999. He will also be given an unofficial say in selection. He has not been given a vote.

Kapil Dev is currently the leading wicket taker in test cricket. He also led India to victory in the 1983 World Cup. However, he has had no prior coaching experience. Coaching an international team demands specialised skills and clear thinking. It remains to be seen whether Kapil Dev can deliver the goods with sheer charisma and inspiration alone.

Gaekwad told the Times of India that he expected Kapil Dev to do a better job than he had, with his enourmous experience as both player and coach.