Kolkata Knight Riders news June 18, 2009

Kolkata sack Buchanan after disastrous season


Kolkata Knight Riders have ended John Buchanan's stint as coach after a disastrous IPL season in which the team finished last and was beset by a succession of controversies. Buchanan, who has been released from his contract, has a short-term coaching assignment with the England board coming up and he said he wanted to concentrate on his coaching and corporate consulting work.

Kolkata's abysmal campaign in the 2009 IPL - they had three wins in 14 games - followed an inaugural season where they ended sixth out of eight teams.

There are a few names in the mix to replace Buchanan, including Steve Waugh, Michael Bevan and Dav Whatmore; the Indian candidates include Lalchand Rajput.

"John Buchanan has informed Knight Riders that despite his hard work over the past two seasons, he has not achieved everything that he set out to and has not been able take the franchise into the future as per his vision for this team," Jay Mehta, co-owner of the franchise, said. "I would like to state that John is a great coach. He had a vision for Knight Riders and did not waver from this vision. Unfortunately, it has not brought the results that are so necessary to this franchise."

Buchanan may not have had too much success as Kolkata's coach, but he felt the groundwork was in place for an improved performance next year. "Obviously, I am very disappointed in not being able to continue with the Knight Riders and complete the work I started some 18 months," he said. "I think we have the makings of a very good IPL franchise, and the foundations are there for 2010."

A senior Kolkata official is understood to have already had an exploratory chat with Dav Whatmore, currently head of the BCCI's National Cricket Academy (NCA). Whatmore, who declined to comment, is believed to be a strong contender for the job because of his track record in the subcontinent - he coached Sri Lanka to the World Cup title in 1996 and was also coach of the Bangladesh team that upset India in the 2007 World Cup - and his experience with the Indian academy in Bangalore.

Michael Bevan, the former Australia batsman, who coached the ICL's Chennai Superstars to the inaugural league title, is said to be in the frame as well although he has also been linked to Mumbai Indians. "At this stage, it is very early in the process," Bevan, who confirmed that he had quit ICL, told Cricinfo. "It's been a bit of sounding out to see if there's interest from both parties. I don't think it's appropriate to comment on the teams concerned, but as far as I am aware these are head coaching roles. That obviously means different things in different teams but the extent of the roles in question I believe are quite senior."

One of the Indian names that a senior Kolkata player has suggested to the franchise is that of Rajput, the coach of India's winning 2007 World Twenty20 squad. Rajput, who declined to comment, was associated with the Mumbai Indians squad last year but he did not figure in the second IPL season.

There is no confirmation yet about the fate of Buchanan's support staff, which included Matthew Mott (assistant head coach), Andy Bichel (bowling coach), Wade Seccombe (wicket-keeping coach), John Deeble (fielding coach), Brad Murphy (assistant coach), Michael Buchanan (strength trainer), who is Buchanan's son, Andrew Leipus (physio) and Adrian Le Roux (trainer). "We are not in a position to comment on their status," a team spokesperson said.

Sources in New South Wales, where Mott is the team's coach, said they believed "his Kolkata job is safe" but Indian media reports have claimed that only Leipus and Le Roux are expected to retain their positions with the IPL franchise. Mott will be in India in October with the New South Wales Twenty20 team for the Champions League.

"I would love to stay," Mott told Cricinfo. "I've had two great years with Kolkata. Last season was obviously hard work, but I thought towards the end of the tournament we got a bit out of it and showed a lot of character. I signed a three year contact, so hopefully I can fulfill that and beyond.

"When you don't have success then I guess everyone comes under the microscope. I know from speaking to some of the owners after the tournament that they were planning to conduct a pretty thorough review of the franchise."

Ajay Shankar and Alex Brown are deputy editors at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Monis on June 19, 2009, 4:36 GMT

    I think Kolkata Knight Riders are missing the point. They are hiring and firing in the coaching department. Relied to much heavily on the 4-foreign players. But they are lacking quality Indian domestic players even superstars in the team like Saurav Ganguly and Ishant Sharma has not been in the you can not even say GOOD.

    Team's luck can also be overturned if they try to play South African talent rather than over trying of Portuguese-Astralian Moises Henriques.

  • Edward on June 19, 2009, 2:49 GMT

    Dada 2 : Australia 0

    You don't mess with the Prince!

  • Raja on June 18, 2009, 14:03 GMT

    Hey playa2468.. I'm not getting cultural here... I am aware tat only with foreign players IPL get the attention it has.. but the real thg is tat u need 7 indian players who r gud.. U can't hav 10 superb foreign players wid 6 of them sitting out in the bench.. So d focus hav to be gud indian talent... KKR already has excellent foreign players.. Ponting,D Hussey,Mccullum,Gayle,Hodge,Mendis,Salman Butt, Shoaib Akhtar,Umar Gul.. They lack in Indian talent tatz wat i'm stressing.. As for as captaincy is concerned u can't hav a better captain than sourav esp KKR.. The bengal boys n crowd love him to the core.. The moment he is dethroned the mood in the camp and around the city spoils.. I am open to any coach..Indian or foreigner.. I would even prefer John wright coz he knows his job and then thr wil be only one boss.. Tat is really important thr can be only one leader for a successful team u saw it in Rajasthan royals with Shane warne...

  • S on June 18, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    I don't want to say Buchanan did all the things right but when you have Sourav Ganguly in your team (who all helped Chappell fail) Buchanan is bound to fail.

  • Hussain on June 18, 2009, 13:48 GMT

    John is an over-rated coach. When he coached Australia, he had the best players around. That is why he won 2 world cups. He can coach but he is not THE main factor for a teams success. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how the team performs.

  • Mubeen on June 18, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    Hi playa2468..!You got me wrong.I am a true cricket lover.I dont mind any forgein coaches in IPL.My favourite team being Rajasthan Royals bcos i like Shane Warne as a leadrer & fighter nothing like culture thing in sport dude be formal.Now being a true cricket lover with Team Indias exit I am still watching cricket still following with Cricinfo.There is nothing to think so much.I didnt like the way Buchanan led KKR,if any Indian coach have done this I would have commented the same.Thank you.

  • Naser on June 18, 2009, 13:30 GMT

    While the buchanan's coaching was disaster so was performances from alot of senior players like sourav. He was battign it;s a test match sometimes 25 runs out of 35 balls common look at the format and style and if you can't keep up you have no place in the team. I personally beleive there was groupism in team due to sourav not getting his role this year. I doubt this will happen again if he is not captain again this year. Players were misfielding to give boundaries so many times at deep positions. The root of the problem I beleive is mr. Ganguly himself he should be sacked. Senior players lead it from the front and when you can't perform at this venue then give room to others and dont divide the team simply because you have no leadership. Take example of Deccan Chargers from last year when laxman was captin to now Gilly is KKR should follow same.

  • arpit on June 18, 2009, 13:19 GMT

    make ganguly the captain and steve waugh the coach

  • Faheem on June 18, 2009, 12:59 GMT

    well done, the owners of the KKR!... throw away all the foreign support staffs too...and save all the money to buy some good indian players especially the ones coming out from ICL ...the likes of Dinesh Mongia, Badani etc...and also invest more on your talend search programme...dats what the team needs the most .. and for the job of the coach y do you have to look outside when you already have master motivators and inspirational leaders like ganguly, ponting and gayle assosiated with the team? ..a bowling coach ,a physical trainer and a good captain(either ganguly or ponting) is all you need... best of luck for the next season...

  • Ahsan on June 18, 2009, 12:20 GMT

    Going by the facts: Both times the team won was captained by an Australian, simply because they lead from the front (set example). Ganguly does not suit the T20 style, so how much the Bengal fans might like him, but the truth is he does not deserve a place in the team at all let alone be a captain. May be he should become a partner in the franchise to keep the KKR commercially attractive, and have someone come in to lead who also performs without pressure (indian or non indian). A coach can only do so much, the most important thing is to have a strong performing captain. Second the players looked under too much pressure throughout the tournament guess due to the SRK factor. Hence something needs to be done on that end to make players feel a bit more relaxed. in the end JB is not a bad coach, it's just that his style wasn't accepted by his target audience, so there's no harm in him going where he gets a bit more open and receptive audience. Hope his leaving will do good to both.

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