IPL 2019: Paddy Upton set to be appointed Rajasthan Royals head coach
The batting and spin-bowling coaches, Amol Muzumdar and Sairaj Bahutule, have been retained.
Updated - Jan 9, 2019 8:31 pm
With the start date of the Indian Premier League (IPL) announced, all the franchises are making further decisions with more clarity. In one of those moves, the Rajasthan Royals is set to appoint Paddy Upton as the head coach of the team for the upcoming season. He played a similar role for the same franchise from 2013 to 2015 and the position was left vacant last season.
Upton has the experience of playing the assistant coach role to Gary Kirsten with Team India and South Africa. He was also appointed the head coach of Pune Warriors in 2012 for the first time before moving to the Royals for the next three season to assist Rahul Dravid. The South African was also at the helm for the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in 2016 and 2017 but underwhelming shows from the team led to both the parties parting ways.
According to ESPNCricinfo, Paddy Upton’s appointment is not yet officially confirmed and once that is done, then he will form a central coaching group along with former Derbyshire bowler Steffan Jones and director of cricket Zubin Bharucha. Moreover, the likes of Amol Muzumdar and Sairaj Bahutule have also been retained as the batting spin-bowling coach of the team respectively.
Warne to be the brand ambassador
Former Australian cricketer Shane Warne played the role of a part-time mentor last season and he will continue to be with the team even this time around. However, Warne will be in the role of a brand ambassador this year. The Royals qualified for the playoffs in 2018 but couldn’t go further after losing to the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator.
As far as the captaincy position is concerned, Ajinkya Rahane will most probably continue at the helm and Steve Smith will have to play under him. Smith won’t be available for the whole season and that might be the reason he won’t be appointed as the skipper. However, Smith will be part of the leadership group with Jos Buttler and Rahane.