John Wright to continue till Pakistan series

Published: Tuesday, December 7, 2004, 19:16 [IST]
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Kolkata:The uncertainty over continuation of Indian cricket team coach John Wright has been put to rest and now the New Zealander will be with the team till the end of the home series against Pakistan next year.

The continuation of 50 year-old Wright till the end of 2004-05 season was confirmed during meetings with Jagmohan Dalmiya here over the past couple of days, according to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sources.

The sources said there was nothing new in Wright continuing till the end of the season since he has been appointed the team's coach till 2004-05 season by the Board's working committee in August and was approved by the adjourned AGM here on September 30.

Both Dalmiya, who technically continues to be the BCCI president since the AGM has not been concluded as yet, and Wright, however, were unavailable for comments.

Doubts about Wright's continuation arose after India lost to Pakistan in the platinum jubilee match here on November 13 due to some comments by the coach himself.

"Sometimes a new coach brings in fresh ideas, which turn out to be good for the team," Wright had said after the loss, which had capped a string of defeats for the Indian team including the fourth consecutive defeat in One-dayers at the hands of the Pakistanis.

Wright's comments apparently seemed to be the result of the disappointing performance by the team since the beginning of the current season.

Before the Platinum Jubilee match the team had lost in the Asian Cup, Tri-series in Holland, NatWest Trophy, Champions Trophy and a home Test series to Australia.

The just concluded Test series win against South Africa was the first positive result from the Indian team in the current season.

Wright has been with the Indian team since November 2000 and during his tenure it achieved many highs, including beating Australia in a Test series and reaching the World Cup final.

The BCCI working committee in August had decided to extend Wright's contract till the end of 2004-05 series and after the controversial AGM here on September 30 the president-elect Ranbir Singh Mahendra had announced, "Wright is very much with the Indian team. He will be there in the coming series against Australia, South Africa and Pakistan".

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