Former India batsman, captain and chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar is known for his strong and erudite views about the game. When it comes to Indian cricket, Vengsarkar never minces his words and says what he feels.
With the Indian Premier League all set for its 13th edition, Vengsarkar feels more IPL franchises should go for Indian coaches rather than opting for foreign stars. Currently Kings XI Punjab are the only team that has an Indian as its head coach. The franchise is being coached by former India legend Anil Kumble.
“I believe more Indian coaches should coach the IPL teams simply because they have the experience; they have also been coaching the states exceedingly well. Besides, how many Indian coaches are coaching teams in other countries’ league like Australia’s Big Bash, etc.? We find none. So why should we hire foreign coaches? I feel our coaches are equally good and some of them are even better. It’s time we give more opportunity to Indian coaches, I am sure they will do exceedingly well. Hopefully, IPL teams will have more Indian coaches than foreign coaches,” Vengsarkar was quoted as saying by Gulf news.
The topic of few Indian head coaches in the IPL came under the spotlight recently when Kumble himself spoke about the issue.
“I can’t answer that question (why other teams don’t have Indian head coaches). I don’t think it gives a true reflection of the quality or the availability of the Indian resources. It’s bit of an irony right? It’s the Indian Premier League and then you have only one Indian as the head coach. I am hopeful that there will be more Indian coaches in the mix,” said Kumble during an interaction from Dubai last week.
The remaining seven IPL franchises have foreigners as head coaches: Brendon McCullum (Kolkata Knight Riders); Ricky Ponting (Delhi Capitals); Andrew McDonald (Rajasthan Royals); Mahela Jayawardene (Mumbai Indians); Trevor Bayliss (Sunrisers Hyderabad); Stephen Fleming (Chennai Super Kings) and Simon Katich (Royal Challengers Bangalore).
Prior to Kumble, only three Indians have coached in IPL: Lalchand Rajput (MI), Robin Singh (SRH) and Venkatesh Prasad (RCB).
“The reason I have taken up this assignment with KXIP is that we have great a squad to go all the way. That’s my role, to prepare the team. This is first time I am meeting the squad. Because of Covid, we have got to spend a longer time with the team. Otherwise, it’s just one week before the tournament,” said Kumble had said..