England tour of India - Cricket: Players wanted Wright to continue: BCCI sources

Updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 13:25 [IST]
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Bangalore: Dalmiya's announcements set at rest speculation that Wright and Leipus would be sacked due to India's continued poor record outside the sub-continent, where it has not won a Test series since 1986.

The Indian Express newspaper and the national news agency, Press Trust of India, reported last week that Wright was set to be replaced after the England series.

Dalmiya said the BCCI's decision to retain Wright and Leipus was taken after a brainstorming session with the duo, senior players and national selectors in Bangalore on Saturday."We discussed how Indian cricket can improve further," said Dalmiya. "India is the world under-15 champions, the under-19 champions, but when it comes to Test rankings, we are eighth out of 10, ahead of only lowly Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

"We have asked the players to be more consistent in their performances. I want the players to be accountable, so also the coach, the physio and the selectors. BCCI sources said Dalmiya took the advice of senior players like captain Saurav Ganguly, master batsman Sachin Tendulkar and spinner Anil Kumble before agreeing to retain Wright."The players wanted Wright to continue. There was also no other suitable candidate," the sources said.

Wright, whose one-year contract expired in November, said he was delighted to continue with Indian cricket."I have enjoyed my job and am looking forward to the coming year," Wright told reporters. "India has some very good players and if the team is consistent on the field, it will do very well."India is scheduled to play a home series against Zimbabwe in February, followed by tours of the West Indies in March and England in June.

Wright, a former New Zealand captain who made his mark as coach of English county side Kent, was inducted as India's first foreign coach with much fanfare 2000 November.

He was India's sixth coach in the last five years, the job having been rotated among Ajit Wadekar, Sandeep Patil, Madan Lal, Anshuman Gaekwad and Kapil Dev since 1996. Wright's crowning glory came in February-March 2001 when India stunned World Champions Australia 2-1 in a dramatic Test series at home.

But the stupendous achievement was overshadowed by India's defeats later in the year in Sri Lanka and South Africa and a 1-1 deadlock against Zimbabwe. India may have won the latest home series against England, but critics suggested the inexperienced tourists played better than the hosts, dominating the last two Tests.

Story first published:  Sunday, December 23, 2001, 20:11 [IST]
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