The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has extended Duncan Fletcher’s contract as the coach of the national team till the 2015 World Cup. Along with Fletcher, his support staff consisting of fielding coach Trevor Penny and bowling coach Joe Dawes, too have received similar extensions.
This comes weeks after the Zimbabwean was criticised heavily by Sunil Gavaskar (who wanted the coach replaced by Rahul Dravid), and days after Gavaskar was made the BCCI’s chief for the IPL.
“We have extended Fletcher’s contract till the 2015 World Cup,” a top BCCI official told The Indian Express. “The BCCI assessed all possibilities and came to conclusion that it won’t be right to have a new coach at the moment. Fletcher has been with the team for last three years and it will be best if he is continues for another year.
“We can’t afford to have new coach at the moment especially with a series like England and Australia to come later this year,” the source added. The foreign contingent in the Indian team, meanwhile, will also receive their fees in Indian rupees from now on.
“Earlier they were paid in US dollars. We don’t want to sign contracts in dollars due to the constant fluctuations of the rupee. Just like it was during the IPL auction where all contracts were signed in rupees,” the official added.
It is learnt that in his meeting with the then BCCI president N Srinivasan, just days before the team’s departure for the ongoing World T20, Fletcher was told not to worry about his future with the Indian team. It is said that there was an assurance given by the BCCI president with the added message to focus on the job at hand.
Under Fletcher’s rule, India had lost their last four Test series’ away from home (England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand) and also their last three ODI series’ (South Africa, New Zealand and the Asia Cup). But despite these losses, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel had been quoted as saying that the Indian cricket board was unanimous in its choice for India coach.
“Let me set the record straight. Duncan Fletcher has the wholehearted backing and support of BCCI. There has been no discussion on his removal. We told him that we have a lot of faith in his coaching abilities and he should not be worried about anything else,” BCCI secretary Patel had said few weeks ago.
India are currently on a four-match winning streak in the World T20 and have reached their first semi-final in the tournament since 2007.