Saturday, May 18

Potential head coaches of the Nepal Cricket team

By a Staff Reporter

Following the resignation of Pubudu Dassanayake, the Nepal National Cricket team is in need of a head coach. The Nepal Cricket Association (CAN) office bearers have been rapidly discussing regarding the appointment of a new head coach but salary is becoming the barrier in its way.

As Dassanayake resigned in between his agreement date,  the International Cricket Council (ICC) informed that the appointment of coach should not be done through open competition. Moreover ICC suggested CAN to appoint one from their archived shortlists. Dassanayake used to receive a remuneration of $10,000 per month. The General Manager of CAN, Bikrant Khanal mentioned that other coaches have not been agreeing to work on that amount.  

The biggest challenge for CAN is to maintain ODI recognition at the moment. Nepal must win at least 10 out of 16 matches of the ICC World Cup League-2 to retain its ODI recognition. CAN has no other option left except appointing a high level coach to retain its ODI recognition.

Lately, the performance of Nepali batters have been terrible. Therefore, it is necessary to bring in a quality batting coach. Arrival of a high class coach is only possible if CAN does not skimp on salary and shows no selfish interests. Looking at the archived shortlist, the four potential head coaches of Nepali cricket are as follows:

4. Tatenda Taibu

Former Zimbabwe captain and wicketkeeper batsman Tatenda Taibu is amongst the potential coaches of Nepali cricket. Taibu was shortlisted by CAN last year. The 39-year-old was shortlisted in both of the previous open competitions. He has scored a total of 1,546 runs which includes one century and 12 half-centuries in 28 test matches.

Likewise, he has scored 3,393 runs that includes 2 centuries and 22 half centuries  in 150 ODI matches. He has played 17 T20Is, 121 First Class and 231 List A matches. He held the record of youngest test captain in the world before Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan. At the age of 29, he decided to retire from cricket and began to work in the church.

Taibu joined Kolkata Knight Riders in 2008. Taibu, a successful player from Zimbabwe, has been showing interest in coming to Nepal. He may also agree to work with a lower salary than other coaches.

3. Chetan Sharma

Former Indian cricketer Chetan Sharma has been expressing his desire to lead the Nepalese cricket team. 56-year-old Sharma was in the shortlist of last year. Former medium pace bowler Sharma is the possible contender this time. He has played 23 Tests and 65 ODIs for India.

Sharma is the first player to take a hat-trick of wickets in ODI World Cup history. He took wickets against New Zealand in the 1987 ODI World Cup. He has taken 67 wickets and scored 456 runs in ODIs for India. In 1989, he played a century innings of 101 runs against England in Kanpur.

Sharma is working as the Chief Selector of the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) currently. He is one amongst the potential head coach candidates. He had previously agreed to join the team on a lower salary.

2. Lalchand Rajput

The former head coach of Zimbabwe Lal Chandra Rajput holds the highest probability to be appointed as the coach of Nepal Cricket team. The 60-year-old India was assured to lead Nepali cricket a couple of years ago but he changed his mind at the last moment and declined to lead the team.  

He has played 2 Tests, 4 ODIs, 110 First Class and 61 List A matches for India. Rajput has the experience of managing various teams including India A, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Mumbai Indians. Rajput was the manager of the Indian team when India won the T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. Moreover, Rajput was the coach of Mumbai Indians in IPL in 2008.

Afghanistan got Test recognition for the first time when Rajput was in charge. In May 2018, he became the head coach of Zimbabwe. He returned home from Zimbabwe a month ago. Nepal can expect immediate results under him if appointed. It is understood that Rajput demanded a pay wage of more than $13,000 per month during initial discussions with CAN.

1. Monty Desai

Monty Desai was almost appointed as a Head Coach of Nepal Cricket team last year. CAN decided not to appoint Desai at the last moment and appointed Dassanayake instead. At that time, Desai was the best candidate among the shortlisted coaches. But CAN somehow dropped plans regarding his appointment. As a result of Dassanayake’s poor performance, Nepal’s ODI recognition is at risk.

Desai can be a good option to improve Nepal’s batting performance as he is the best and most capable batting coach Nepal can have at the moment. CAN is not financially capable to appoint any coach of Desai’s caliber.

He has demanded a pay wage of $13,000 per month as informed by CAN. CAN may agree to his demands as CAN wants results at any cost. Desai has more than 13 years of coaching experience. He has worked as a coach for Afghanistan, Nepal, UAE, Canada, Gujarat Lions, Rajasthan Royals in IPL and Andhra Pradesh in Indian Domestic Cricket.

Desai was Nepal’s batting consultant when the Nepali U-19 team defeated India in 2017. In 2015, Desai was with the Nepali team in the World Twenty20 Qualifiers held in Ireland and Scotland. He was also part of the Nepali team in the 2014 World Cup.

Desai has a good experience of world cricket. Nepalese players may also get opportunities to play in Indian and world cricket under him. Desai has been continuously showing interest in becoming a coach of Nepal.

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