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February 27, 2008
Kepler Wessels, the former South African captain, has been named the coach of the IPL's Chennai franchise, the Chennai Super Kings, while the Jaipur team, named the Rajasthan Royals, announced that Shane Warne will be their captain and coach.
"We wanted somebody who would keep the focus on cricket, be a good task master, and help us win the tournament," VB Chandrasekhar, who is part of the Chennai management, told Cricinfo.
L Sivaramakrishnan, the former India player and currently, a commentator, mooted the idea of roping in Wessels, it is learnt. Sivaramakrishnan and Wessels are part of the commentary team in Bangladesh for the home series against South Africa.
Fraser Castellino, CEO of Emerging Media that owns the Jaipur franchise, said Warne will be assisted by a strong support staff, which will include former Indian team physiotherapist John Gloster. "Shane Warne's extraordinary achievements on and off the field, combined with his unique understanding of the game, has made him a living sporting legend," he said. "It is this leadership and experience that will develop the success and spirit of the Rajasthan Royals. All the players will look upto and Shane's commitment and astute cricketing brain."
Wessels and Warne join a high-profile list of names of IPL coaches, which includes Martin Crowe (Bangalore), John Buchanan (Kolkata) and Tom Moody (Mohali). Robin Singh is the coach of the Hyderabad outfit while Delhi had named Victoria's Greg Shipperd as their coach. Mumbai are yet to select a coach.
The Chennai franchise have roped in Aniruddha Srikkanth, R Ashwin and Sudeep Tyagi, the UP fast bowler. Though they have 15 players in the roll and theoretically need just one more but they are looking to sign up six more players as they fear some of the international stars might not be available for the full tournament.
The Mohali team has signed up VRV Singh and two under-22 players in Karan Goel and Uday Kaul, which mean they have 13 players and need three more players to complete the squad.
Mumbai have picked Ajinkya Rahane and Abhishek Nayar from Mumbai and Maharashtra' wicketkeeper Yogesh Takawale and Baroda's glovesman Pinal Shah.
Hyderabad have already 16 players on their rolls. VVS Laxman (C), Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Herschelle Gibbs, Shahid Afridi, Chaminda Vaas, Chamara Silva, Nuwan Zoysa, RP Singh, Rohit Sharma, N Arjun Yadav, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Pragyan Ojha, D Kalyankrishna, P Vijay Kumar, Y Venugopala Rao, Haladhar Das (wk). Head coach: Robin Singh. Assistant coach: Kanwaljit Singh. Manager: Vijay Mohan Raj.