John Buchanan: The 'Ned Flanders' of Cricket
John Buchanan, the former Australia men's national cricket team coach, was born on 5 April 1953 at Ipswich, Queensland. Buchanan, who is also known in cricketing circles as 'Ned Flanders', due to his similarity in appearance to The Simpsons character, played only seven first-class matches in his career; but as Queensland coach he helped the state win their first Sheffield Shield title in 1994-95. Buchanan was appointed as Australia coach in October 1999, and was at the helm for 15 of Australia's record-breaking 16 consecutive Test wins and when they won the World Cups in 2003 and 2007. Buchanan was also the coach when Australia won the Champions Trophy in 2006 and inflicted a 5-0 whitewash on England in the 2006-07 Ashes Series, the first since 1920-21 in the Ashes Series. Though widely regarded as an innovative and groundbreaking coach, Buchanan's unorthodox methods raised a few eyebrows and Shane Warne was dismissive about his role in the team; but former captain Ricky Ponting credits him as being one of the important reasons Australia completed their World Cup hat trick of wins. After quitting as Australia's coach, Buchanan was at the helm of Kolkata Knight Riders for two turbulent years. In May 2011, Buchanan was appointed to the role of Director of Cricket for New Zealand Cricket.
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