Adam Gilchrist will double up as coach-cum-captain at Kings XI Punjab starting this season. The franchise has appointed Gilchrist, the former Australia wicketkeeper, as head coach for the next three years.
Gilchrist will find ample Australian support on the coaching bench: Joe Dawes, the newly-appointed India bowling coach, and Mike Young, fielding consultant previously with Cricket Australia, would serve as Kings XI bowling and fielding coaches respectively. Vikram Rathour, currently coach of the Punjab state team in domestic cricket, will be the assistant coach to Gilchrist.
Gilchrist replaced his former Australia teammate Michael Bevan, whose contract was not renewed by the franchise. "We were impressed with his leadership and his technical skills in his first year at Punjab. So it was a natural progression to make him in charge of everything cricket at KXIP," Arvinder Singh, the head of the franchise's management, told ESPNcricinfo.
Arvinder said the franchise felt there was no need for an exclusive head coach for various reasons. "You don't have access to your players through the year. You just get to meet them a week to ten days before the IPL starts and then you play sixteen games through the season. So the coach per se is not going to be somebody who is going to upgrade your skills during that period," Arvinder said. "You need a person who can understand each individual and the kind of value he brings to the team and utilise it to the maximum."
Gilchrist, Arvinder pointed out, was the right person in the right place to accomplish that. "Gilchrist is the captain and with his vast experience is in a good position. It is best to let one guy decide along with the right support staff and let him decide things."
Meanwhile, Patrick Farhart, who served as Kings XI physiotherapist in the first three seasons of the IPL before moving last year to Mumbai Indians has returned.
Edited by Abhishek Purohit