Kolkata Knight Riders news
Buchanan and Kolkata part ways
Ajay S Shankar and Alex Brown
June 18, 2009
John Buchanan's stint as the Kolkata Knight Riders' coach has ended after
the franchise released him from his contract. Buchanan has a short-term
coaching assignment coming up with the England board, and he said he wanted
to concentrate on his coaching and corporate consulting work.
Kolkata had an abysmal campaign in this year's IPL, finishing last with only
three wins in four*** games. They didn't make the semi-finals in the
inaugural season either.
"John Buchanan has informed Knight Riders that despite his hard work over
the past two seasons, he has not achieved everything that he set out to and
has not been able take the franchise into the future as per his vision for
this team," Jay Mehta, co-owner of the franchise, said. "I would like to
state that John is a great coach. He had a vision for Knight Riders and did
not waver from this vision. Unfortunately, it has not brought the results
that are so necessary to this franchise."
Buchanan may not have had too much success as Kolkata's coach, but he felt
the groundwork was in place for an improved performance next year.
"Obviously, I am very disappointed in not being able to continue with the
Knight Riders and complete the work I started some 18 months," he said. "I
think we have the makings of a very good IPL franchise, and the foundations
are there for 2010."
There are a few names "in the mix" to replace Buchanan, including Steve
Waugh, Michael Bevan and Dav Whatmore; the Indian candidates include
A senior Kolkata official is understood to have already had an exploratory
chat with Dav Whatmore, currently head of the BCCI's National Cricket
Academy (NCA). Whatmore, who declined to comment, is believed to be a strong
contender for the job because of his track record in the subcontinent - he
coached Sri Lanka to the World Cup title in 1996 and was also coach of the
Bangladesh team that upset India in the 2007 World Cup - and his experience
with the Indian academy in Bangalore.
Michael Bevan, the former Australia batsman, who coached the ICL's Chennai
Superstars to the inaugural league title, is said to be in the frame as well
although he has also been linked to Mumbai Indians. "At this stage, it is
very early in the process," Bevan, who confirmed that he had quit ICL, told
Cricinfo. "It's been a bit of sounding out to see if there's interest from
both parties. I don't think it's appropriate to comment on the teams
concerned, but as far as I am aware these are head coaching roles. That
obviously means different things in different teams but the extent of the
roles in question I believe are quite senior."
One of the Indian names that a senior Kolkata player has suggested to the
franchise is that of Rajput, the coach of India's winning 2007 World
Twenty20 squad. Rajput, who declined to comment, was associated with the
Mumbai Indians squad last year but he did not figure in the second IPL
There is no confirmation yet about the fate of Buchanan's support staff,
which included Matthew Mott (assistant head coach), Andy Bichel (bowling
coach), Wade Seccombe (wicket-keeping coach), John Deeble (fielding coach),
Brad Murphy (assistant coach), Michael Buchanan (strength trainer), who is
Buchanan's son, Andrew Leipus (physio) and Adrian Le Roux (trainer). "We are
not in a position to comment on their status," a team spokesperson said.
Sources in New South Wales, where Mott is the team's coach, said they
believed "his Kolkata job is safe" but Indian media reports have claimed
that only Leipus and Le Roux are expected to retain their positions with the
IPL franchise. Mott will be in India in October with the New South Wales
Twenty20 team for the Champions League.
Ajay Shankar and Alex Brown are deputy editors at Cricinfo