April 27, 2011: Bringing to an end weeks of speculation as to who would assume the high-profile role of coach of Team India, the BCCI has finally named former England coach Duncan Fletcher for the post.
Fletcher, originally from Zimbabwe, is credited with guiding England to an Ashes victory. He has pipped Andy Flower, Stephen Fleming and Justin Langer who were the other prime candidates for the position of Indian coach.
Former coach of Team India Gary Kirtsen, had recommended Langer as his possible replacement, but the BCCI was not too keen on taking the former Australian Test batsman on. Meanwhile, Fleming who is engrossed in a flourishing business back home in native New Zealand, declined the offer of a full-time coach.
Finally, Andy Flower was also considered, but he is settled in England with his family and according to sources, is looking to extent his tenure as coach of Team England.
Fletcher will take on his responsibilities as Indian coach at the end of the West Indies tour in July, while in the meantime, Indian bowling coach Eric Simmons will stand in.
Under Fletcher the England cricket team achieved famous series victories away to Sri Lanka, Pakistan and South Africa between 2000-2004. In 2004 England won an English record 8 consecutive tests, beating New Zealand 3-0 and West Indies 4-0 at home respectively, before winning the first test in South Africa. His most famous and largest achievement however came in September 2005 he became the first coach of the English team to win an Ashes series for 18 years when England secured 2-1 victory over Australia. He was coach of the English team, till Andy Flower took over in 2009.
Fletcher himself played no Tests for his native Zimbabwe, as the country was only inducted into the international Test circuit after 1990, which was after he retired. He also only played 6 ODIs at an impressive average of 47.75. He had a less impressive First Class record, scoring 4095 runs from 111 matches at an average of just 23.67.
South African Gary Kirsten vacated the post of Indian coach at the end of his three-year contract earlier this month.