Mumbai, Sept 28: Is Duncan Fletcher missing ? Board of Control for Cricket has no clue on where Duncan Fletcher is, he is supposed to be in South Africa as of today but have not received any message from the Indian coach.
The Chief Coach must be present during the Irani trophy match which is scheduled to start on October 1 in Jaipur, according to the board officials, “He has not sounded us out if he would be coming. As of today, he is expected here only in the first week of October," said a senior board official. India face England in a 5 match ODI series which starts in Hyderabad on October 14.
“Ideally, he should be here for the Irani Trophy. It is an important domestic fixture. Please ask the secretary," said another official without willing to be named. All the fringe players would be taking part in the upcoming Irani Trophy Cup, the secretary is not sure if the coach will be attending the match to evaluate performances of young developing players. “We"re meeting on September 29 to select the team for the Challenger Trophy. Hopefully, we will get to know about his plans then," said Sanjay Jagdale.
Post England series, the bowling and fielding coaches Eric Simons and Trevor Penney respectively, including support staff, left to respective countries. Fletcher and Simons went to South Africa and Penney left for Australia. Simons returned to India and is currently in New Delhi. However, the board is not sure if Trevor Penney will attend the Irani Trophy Cup.
“It should be part of his contract. The board should not allow the coach to stay away from Irani and Challenger Trophy fixtures," Dilip Vengsarkar said. “The national coach"s duty is not just to handle 15 players. He has to have the first hand information on the fringe players. When they get picked for the national team, the coach would have some idea about them," the former chief selector remarked.
According to him, being the head coach it is mandatory to attend such matches but to a limit. “Even Gary Kirsten and Greg Chappell avoided going to such matches. When we used to talk about young players like Virat Kohli, the coach would know nothing about him. They should be made part of the formation of our bench strength," Vengsarkar commented.