Last chance for Duncan Fletcher

BCCI awaits India’s performance in World T20 before taking a call on Fletcher’s future.


New Delhi:
The writing seems to be on the wall for India coach Duncan Fletcher. It has been learnt that Fletcher has been given one last opportunity to save his job at the upcoming ICC World T20 in Bangladesh and if he falls short of expectations, his unimpressive stint will finally come to an end.

Even as the Indian team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni left for Bangladesh, Fletcher was meeting BCCI president N Srinivasan in Chennai. While there has been agreement among several former cricketers that the Zimbabwean has been given a long enough rope to prove his mettle, it is understood that concerns raised by several BCCI working committee members finally forced Srinivasan to give Fletcher the ultimatum.

While BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel has said the Board has no intention of removing the coach, there are others who differ. A senior BCCI official told Mail Today that taking stern action days ahead of the World T20 wasn’t in the best interest of Indian cricket.

But things couldn’t be delayed too much either as the World Cup is less than a year away. So the World T20 is Fletcher’s last chance.

“Everyone has a job to do. Even some of us have run out of patience because we have hardly seen a situation like this where a famed coach keeps losing one series after another and still holds on to the position. Having said that, it is also believed that changing a coach or passing a statement on his performance just days before the ICC World T20 isn’t the right thing to do. So we have decided that we will give him one more opportunity to prove himself, before we take a decision."

“You can’t forget that the 50-over World Cup is also coming up. So if we don’t act swiftly, we might be forced to continue with him till the showpiece event in Australia and New Zealand. And in the current scenario, that does not seem the right choice,” the official said.

The Indian team landed in Bangladesh without coach Duncan Fletcher. India team manager Brijesh Patel said on Friday that he was not aware whether Fletcher has been summoned by BCCI president N. Srinivasan or not. Fielding coach Trevor Penny and bowling coach Joe Dawes are also missing.

Patel said that Penny and Dawes would join the team any moment.

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