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John Buchanan, the former Australia and Kolkata Knight Riders coach, has said he was "shocked and disappointed" when he was sacked by the IPL franchise as he had been looking forward to moulding the team over five years.
Buchanan was sacked in June after a dismal 2009 season. Kolkata finished last and the campaign was marred by off-field controversies, the biggest of which was caused by his multiple-captains theory.
"We were trying to build something over five years but Shah Rukh Khan, the owner and king of Bollywood, had a change of direction and I was told I was no longer needed," Buchanan told the Courier Mail. "That was a a shock and a disappointment."
An uneasy relationship with the franchise's icon player, Sourav Ganguly, who is immensely popular in his home state of Bengal, did not help matters. "Ganguly was the icon player and the captain of the outfit and I told him I didn't believe he was up to the pace of the game," Buchanan said.
Ganguly was replaced as captain by New Zealand's Brendon McCullum for the disastrous 2009 season and several Bengal players hinted that the team would have performed better if Ganguly had been at the helm.
Kolkata won only three out of 14 matches but Buchanan said many games could have gone either way. "We got to the last over in nine games and lost them, getting to the last ball five times and losing."
In stark contrast to Kolkata's abysmal record, Australia were virtually unstoppable during Buchanan's eight-year stint as coach. He is now concentrating on a career as corporate coach, and said he will not be chief coach of any major cricket teams in the future. "I'd never coach another state or international side," he said. "There are certain loyalties involved but to help another coach? I'm quite happy to do that."