Joe Dawes, the India bowling coach, has said that he has parted ways with the BCCI, and has also turned down the board's offer of working at the NCA in Bangalore. Dawes also clarified that as opposed to media reports saying he had been sacked, the separation was reached mutually between him and the BCCI.
There had been speculation over Dawes and fielding coach Trevor Penney's future once the duo was asked to go on a break by the BCCI after India's 3-1 Test series defeat in England in August. Ravi Shastri, the newly appointed team director, had insisted on bringing in Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar as assistants to head coach Duncan Fletcher.
On Monday the Courier Mail, a Brisbane daily, said that Dawes had been sacked by the BCCI. However, Dawes denied that was the case. "It was absolutely amicable. We were involved in a process over the past two months that we had been working through," Dawes told ESPNcricinfo from Australia.
Dawes did not want to talk about his reaction after he was asked to step aside in England."The actual process and what went on, I don't really want to talk about it. It is just not worth talking about it. We parted ways really amicably and I don't want to risk in any shape or form."
Considering that their contracts were originally meant to expire at the end of next year's World Cup, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel had said Dawes and Penney had been asked if they were willing to work at the NCA. "That was one of the options at one stage we thought about," Dawes said. "But I decided to move on."
Dawes told the Courier Mail that the BCCI felt language had been a hindrance in his interactions with the Indian players. ''They thought there was a language barrier issue,'' Dawes said. ''But I had things in place to assist me with that. I have a very simple grasp of Hindi but cricket is also a universal language. I would use either the manager or one of the bowlers who spoke English to communicate. I would use Ishant Sharma all the time because he spoke good English. I would always make sure he was around to give me a hand."
However, no one had expressly told him that the language barrier was one of the reasons behind the BCCI losing confidence in him, Dawes told ESPNcricinfo. "The only time I heard was about a supposed leaked BCCI report that Ravi Shastri wrote (about language barrier being a reason). But I have not seen that or been told that directly by anyone."
"I know all three guys who have come in. They are all unbelievable operators. The two that I have worked with in particular (at Kings XI Punjab), Sridhar and Sanjay Bangar, are really good blokes as well. I have good relationships with them and look forward to catching up with them when they are in Brisbane for the Test."
Dawes said he was disappointed at not being part of the India coaching staff for the forthcoming Australia tour for which, he revealed, he had been preparing for two years. Dawes, a former Queensland fast bowler, was recruited by the BCCI as the bowling coach after the 2011-2012 tour of Australia where India suffered a 4-0 whitewash in the Test series. "I was looking forward to the tour of Australia. No doubt. But things happen in life for a reason. They wanted to get some Indian coaches involved. It is a tough one."
According to Dawes, he had been focusing on the Australia tour right from the time he took over in 2012. "We had been working towards this tour from the England Test series in India two years ago. We had already started planning from then since we knew we had a good 18 months with tours in South Africa, England and Australia. What we were trying to create was a unit to work together, a unit that would know each other personally, was going to go out and bowl their hearts out not just for India but also for each other."
Dawes said his "proudest" contribution was working on Ishant's growth as a leader of the group. "We made some really good progress as a group. The proudest (achievement) was Ishant. All the credit goes to Ishant, but the turnaround Ishant has had over the last 12-18 months has been exceptional. He has gone from someone who was in a little bit of wilderness coming back from injury. More importantly from my point of view he is turning into the leader of that bowling group which someone of his experience should be doing and he is doing really well looking after that young group."
Dawes said it was "heartening" to see the India players walk into his room in England to leave messages, a pointer that he had built good relationships within the team. "I leave with no regrets and am looking forward to the future."
Dawes said he was happy to be part of Kings XI Punjab where he is the bowling coach and assistant to Bangar. Dawes said he shared an excellent rapport with all the three India assistant coaches, especially Bangar and Sridhar.
"I know all three guys who have come in. They are all unbelievable operators. The two that I have worked with in particular (at Kings XI), Sridhar and Sanjay Bangar, are really good blokes as well. I have good relationships with them and look forward to catching up with them when they are in Brisbane for the Test."