The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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One call before final goodbye
- John Wright, Andrew Leipus in overdrive on Adrian le Roux replacement

Calcutta: Adrian le Roux’s decision to sever ties with the Board continues to be the talking point and, contrary to popular belief, the physical trainer did “contact” somebody associated with Team India shortly before the South Africans announced their tie-up with him, Sunday.

“I came into the picture much too late… I did try and persuade Adrian to have a rethink but, by then, the die was cast… He listened to what I had to say, but that was about it,” the gentleman, who preferred not to be identified, told The Telegraph Tuesday.

The desire to remain unnamed is understandable: Given the sensitivities involved, some in the Board could raise a stink as to why he alone was called. After all, the trainer’s move left the officialdom speechless.

Adrian, of course, wasn’t obliged to directly communicate with any mandarin, as his post-World Cup contract hadn’t been inked. The story would have been very different if the ‘deal’ was closed soon after that showpiece.

Now that the prized horse has bolted, the Board is into overdrive to find a replacement.

Towards that end, president Jagmohan Dalmiya spoke to coach John Wright (in Bangalore), Monday, and the latter promptly called physio Andrew Leipus in Johannesburg.

Wright, who had actively lobbied for the trainer’s appointment (April 2002), will be co-ordinating the recruitment on the Board’s behalf.

Leipus, one understands, has already forwarded the CV of a couple of trainers currently with provincial sides in South Africa. He will continue to scout for candidates with a background in cricket.

[Adrian, by the way, was with the Bloemfontein-headquartered Free State before working with Sourav Ganguly and Co.]

Though under pressure, Wright does have some “breathing space” and may seek the “advice” of Greg Chappell and Dennis Lillee, when he interacts with them in Chennai at the end of the month.

Speaking from Bangalore, where he is effectively functioning as the National Cricket Academy’s head coach, Wright said: “As of now, we don’t have any commitments till October 8 (first Test, versus New Zealand) and, so, one can look around for the best man.”

This time, though, the Board will have to adopt a professional approach in dealing with a pro.

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