The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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For now, John Wright stays till May 24
- Despite father’s hospitalisation, coach available for Dhaka

Calcutta: John Wright’s contract as Team India’s coach has, for the time being, been extended till May 24.

This was communicated to him Sunday afternoon, when he called Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya from Christchurch.

One learns the contracts of physio Andrew Leipus and physical trainer Adrian le Roux will, for now, also be similarly extended. As with the coach, their contracts ended with the World Cup.

The BCCI president is, of course, within his rights to grant an ad-hoc extension — the actual paper work can be done at the next working committee meeting.

Contacted by The Telegraph shortly after his interaction with Dalmiya, Wright said: “I’ve been advised by the president that my contract has been extended for another two months (after the World Cup), till May 24.

“I understand that my continuation thereafter will be decided upon by the BCCI in the course of the next two months itself.”

He added: “I’m quite relaxed with this situation as I’ve always had a very good understanding with Mr Dalmiya and the BCCI.”

Wright, who has been wearing the coach’s hat from November 2000, remarked he was “hopeful” of getting to work with Sourav Ganguly and Co. “beyond May 24” but, for now, would “wait and see.”

Having changed the Indians’ work ethic by instilling discipline and purpose, there’s no reason why his contract should not be extended for a longer period. Wright, though, isn’t the sort to take anything for granted.

In fact, had India not done well in the World Cup — scripting eight wins in succession before being annihilated in the final — Wright would have looked at options instead of calling Dalmiya for an update.

Assuming that the April 11-20 tri-series is on in Dhaka, that tournament will be India’s sole commitment before his contract comes up for a formal review.

After the tri-series, Team India will have a break till the mid-August Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

Incidentally, the pro that he is, Wright declared he would be available for the upcoming tournament even though his cancer-stricken father (Geoff) is in hospital.

However, given the circumstances, he won’t be present at Tuesday’s Amby Valley function organised by Sahara India Pariwar.

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