BCCI contacts Andy Flower to replace coach Duncan Fletcher: report

The Indian Cricket Board is mulling to crack the whip on the support staff of the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led national side, which returned win-less from a tour of New Zealand.

Updated: February 21, 2014 15:30 IST
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With the clamour for heads to roll in the Indian cricket team growing after a win-less tour of New Zealand, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has reportedly contacted former England team director Andy Flower to replace coach Duncan Fletcher.

A report in the Hindustan Times said on Friday that a Board of Control for Cricket in India official has had a round of talks with Flower. "Nothing has been finalised as these are preliminary talks with the Board likely to invite applications from suitable candidates for the post next month," a source was quoted as saying by the leading daily.

"Routine process would be followed before handing the responsibilities to the new coach. But so far, Flower has been contacted and let's see who win the race," he added.

Fletcher took over the reigns as the national coach after Gary Kirsten left the post following a triumphant 2011 World Cup. The Zimbabwean's two-contract was extended by a year in March 2013 by the BCCI working committee.

India's performances in Tests, especially overseas has been dismal under Fletcher. India could register only one Test win overseas under Fletcher out of the 17 matches since 2011-12 season. That win at Kingston, Jamaica, incidentally in Fletcher's maiden Test assignment, was followed by 4-0 series whitewashes in England and Australia, a home series defeat to England, a 1-0 loss in two-match series in South Africa and a similar fate in New Zealand. (Read: Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan Singh a must for India Test side, says Sourav Ganguly)

Former India left-arm spinner Bishan Singh Bedi slammed coach Fletcher on Thursday and said that the 65-year-old should be replaced. "If a change has to be made, it has to be made as soon as possible. What's the point of only thinking about a change," Bedi said. (Read more: Time for Duncan to check out: Bishan Bedi slams India's coach)

"I have always believed that the Indian team's coach has to be Indian. This mercenary nonsense has to stop some time. He (Fletcher) has made no impact and he will never make any impact. He is just toeing the lines of (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni and the powers. You need somebody who is assertive and accountable," Bedi said.

Flower, who had a liking to Indian bowlers during his playing days, has had a tremendous run with the England side as Team Director till the recent Ashes debacle in Australia, after which he stepped down from the post.

The Zimbabwe batting legend played a vital role in England reaching the No.1 rank in Test rankings after back-to-back Ashes wins in 2009, 2010-11 and 2013. The 45-year-old also helped the Three Lions to clinch their maiden ICC championship with the 2010 World T20 in the Caribbean, where they beat the Aussies in final.

India's dubious run in Tests have also triggered calls for a change in leadership. Kiwi legend Martin Crowe said it is the right time to give Test captaincy to Virat Kohli, while Indian Test stalwarts like Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid said that Dhoni must continue for another year at least.

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