Prabhakar pitches for Amarnath as India coach

Published: Thursday, May 12, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Former Indian all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar today joined the ongoing debate over selection of the new Indian cricket coach, rooting for Mohinder Amarnath as his 'personal choice'.

Prabhakar also agreed with Australian cricketing legend Steve Waugh that the Indian team would benefit further if Javagal Srinath was roped in as the bowling coach.

"India definitely needs a bowling coach. Because this is a department where the team is lacking. The bowlers need to be motivated not only on the field, but also off it. A bowling coach can help in enhancing the performance of the bowlers, and help them in bowling to their optimum potential," Prabhakar, here on a business trip, told PTI.

Prabhakar said Srinath was the only Indian pacer after him and Kapil Dev to have had a long stint in top flight cricket.

"I will back him for his experience, fighting ability and knowledge of the game."

Explaining the reasons for prefering Amarnath, he said "his performance speaks for itself. Anybody can learn a lot under him, as I have. I consider him as my guru."

Prabhakar, serving a five-year ban from cricket since 2000 following the match-fixing scandal, said he was eagerly awaiting the end of his punishement in December.

"I want to prove myself again on the cricket field, if not as a player, then as a coach in helping talented youngsters."

Indicating his willingness to assist the Indian bowlers once the ban was removed, Prabhakar said "if they come to me, I'll definitely talk to them. I'll try to help them."

Prabhakar, who scored 1600 runs in 39 Tests besides claiming 96 wickets, has opened a cricket academy in Greater Noida with a branch at Faridabad.

Asked whether he still stood by the allegations he levelled against players like Kapil Dev during the match fixing controversy, Prabhakar said "I don't want to harp on the past. I did my bit in cleaning up the game. And I think I was successful."

"People know in their heart of hearts who was wrong and who was right. Not a single person has told me what I did was wrong," said Prabhakar.

The bowler, known for his proficiency in reverse swing, regretted that the art form was fading in India. "During my playing days, there were other bowlers also who could reverse swing the ball. But it's very rare these days."

"If a pacer cannot reverse swing, then he won't be able to deliver the goods with the old ball," he said.

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