| WRIGHT: Back home to attend ailing father
Calcutta: Assuming that the April 11-20 tri-series is held on schedule, in Bangladesh, it’s quite likely that the contracts of John Wright, Andrew Leipus and Adrian le Roux will be extended on an ad-hoc basis.
The contracts of all three key members of Team India’s support staff, it may be recalled, ended with the World Cup.
“Look, the decision to extend/not extend their contracts won’t be decided by me only — it will have to be discussed at the proper forum and, in any case, the other office-bearers may also have an opinion,” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya told The Telegraph Thursday.
He added: “It’s possible that as an interim arrangement, all three contracts could be extended till April 20. If it comes to that, the initiative can be taken by me after consulting other office-bearers.”
The BCCI, of course, doesn’t have to rush into making a long-term commitment as Team India will have a break from engagements till mid-August (Asia Cup, Sri Lanka).
While physio Leipus (who has been around from October 1999) and physical trainer Le Roux (with the team for a year) shouldn’t find it inconvenient to make themselves available at short notice, there’s a slight question mark over coach Wright, who has been around from November 2000.
Wright’s father, one understands, is very ill and Indian cricket’s first coach from overseas has gone back to New Zealand to be with his ailing father. At the moment, then, it’s not clear whether he can return for the ill-timed tri-series.
“Let’s wait and see... If Wright can’t make it, then somebody else maybe given that short-term assignment,” Dalmiya pointed out. In fact, it won’t surprise if Team India departs without a coach — after all, it’s a one-day tournament and a short-term appointment could trigger unnecessary speculation, putting both the appointee and the BCCI under pressure.
If it comes to that, the manager may have a bigger role to play.
Incidentally, there has been talk about some top players making themselves unavailable, but the BCCI president informed nobody has formally done so as yet. The squad will be picked on April 1-2.
Meanwhile, though Team India lost the World Cup final (to Australia), Sahara India Pariwar will still be presenting dupleix apartments at Amby Valley. The handing-over function is slated for April 1.