Former Karnataka cricketer Sanath Kumar wants one change in IPL

Former Karnataka cricketer Sanath Kumar wants one change in IPL

He did not find any of the international coaches, he worked with at the RCB, “great” in terms of strategy or communication.

Sanath Kumar
Sanath Kumar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Karnataka medium pacer and Assam coach, Sanath Kumar still can’t fathom why most of the Indian Premier League franchises (IPL) are hesitant in employing local support staff, which also includes trainers and physios. Kumar himself is now recognized after successfully guiding relatively weaker teams in the national championships.

Coaching minnows Assam to the Ranji Trophy semi-finals (2015-16 season) and guiding Andhra to Vijay Hazare and coaching Baroda to Syed Mushtaq Ali’s T20 triumph are a few highlights of his career. Yet, after a three-year stint as an assistant coach with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Kumar’s services have not been sought by IPL franchises which is surprising.

Even though when choosing the Head Coach for Team India, an Indian candidate had an upper hand, it appears like the case otherwise in IPL. Currently, seven out of eight IPL franchises’ top coaching/mentorship role is donned by foreign greats.

As reported by Sportstar, Chennai Super Kings has Stephen Fleming, RCB will be coached by Daniel Vettori, Delhi Daredevils has Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne is back at the Rajasthan Royals, Mahela Jayawardene continues with the Mumbai Indians, with Tom Moody with Sunrisers Hyderabad and Jacques Kallis with Kolkata Knight Riders. The only Indian at the helm of support staff is Virender Sehwag in Kings XI Punjab.

“It’s an Indian Premier League and the majority should have been Indian support staff. Look at Big Bash League (BBL) where you have majority of Australian support staff, Natwest T20 (England) has majority of Englishmen and Caribbean Premier League (CPL) use their local talent but it’s only in India, we don’t look at our own people,” Kumar said.

Since he has closely observed the foreign support staff during his earlier stint with the RCB, Kumar believes that some of the Indian physios and trainers are at par with their foreign counterparts. In fact, one of Kumar’s trusted support staff in Andhra team, Subhadip Ghosh, has been employed as an assistant fielding coach in the Delhi Daredevils.

“I strongly feel that some of our trainers, physios and other support staff are at par with all those overseas recruits. I feel we have an addiction for white skin,” he said in a sarcastic tone. I have seen in all these years that the franchise owners are happy to show off their foreign coach – say a Ponting and it’s not the case with Indian names,” Kumar puts it bluntly.

He didn’t mince words when he says that he did not find any of the international coaches, he worked with at the RCB, “great” in terms of strategy or communication. However, he did not shy away from mentioning the pressing issues that make franchises wary of having big Indian names either.

“I worked with so many foreign coaches during my time in RCB. Starting from Martin Crowe, Ray Jennings to Eric Simmons. I didn’t find anybody great. They were all very average (as coaches). I at least found their communication with players to be very poor,” he stated.

“One aspect is that foreign coaches are more professional. The Indian big names normally would come to the ground with players while a foreigner would come earlier and get all the necessary equipment for training ready. They don’t encroach into anyone’s personal space and freedom. Hence unlike Indian coaches, there are less ego problems,” he said.