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Sub-continental coaching staff feels the heat after World Cup

The 10-team tournament, which saw England shade New Zealand by the finest of margins and win the Cup for the first time, had five teams from Asia.

IANS | New Delhi |

Starting from India, the sub-continent teams seem to be the worst hit in the aftermath of the World Cup with all five boards hinting at changes in their coaching staff after all of them, barring the men in blue, failed to make the knockout stages of the tournament.

The 10-team tournament, which saw England shade New Zealand by the finest of margins and win the Cup for the first time, had five teams from Asia.

While Afghanistan — still finding their feet in international cricket — finished rock bottom in the points table without winning a single game, Bangladesh showed a lot of promise to eventually end a lowly eighth.

Sri Lanka punched above their weight in some games, especially when they stunned England, and finished sixth while Pakistan fought hard but missed out on a last-four berth owing to an inferior net run rate than fourth-placed New Zealand.

India, one of the favourites to lift the crown, played brilliant cricket to qualify as the top team for the semis. But in the knockout game, Virat Kohli and Co were knocked out of the quadrennial showpiece after they lost to New Zealand by 18 runs.

The ramifications were there for everyone to see immediately afterwards with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday inviting applications for the positions of head coach, batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach, physio, strength and conditioning coach and administrative manager for the Indian team.

Current head of coaching staff Ravi Shastri and his team will get an automatic entry into the recruitment process.

The current coaching staff were handed a 45-day extension after their tenure ended with the World Cup. Assistant coach Sanjay Bangar is under the scanner after India’s exit in the World Cup and the inability to find a number four batsman over the last two seasons.

The BCCI is also keen to discuss the idea of split captaincy. Speaking to IANS, a board functionary had said that good teams start preparations immediately after one campaign ends and the biggest result of that is England winning the World Cup on Sunday.

So, keeping an eye on the next campaign, India too could look at the option of having Rohit lead the team in the shorter format while Kohli continues in Tests.

Coming to India’s arch-rivals Pakistan, the Pakistan Cricket Board has asked head coach Mickey Arthur to apply all over again if he wants to continue as the head coach of the side.

According to reports, Arthur is keen on continuing in the job although many feel PCB should make a fresh start and appoint a new management. There have been questions raised about Sarfaraz Ahmed’s captaincy as well with former players saying he could be kept as limited-overs skipper only and PCB appointing a new Test captain. While Sarfaraz has expressed his desire to continue, it remains to be seen what the board does.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) also began their search for a new head coach by posting an advertisement for the vacancy on their official website.

The BCB decided to part ways with Steve Rhodes, whose contract was until after the 2020 ICC World T20, but according to the mandarins of the board, the decision was mutual. There was speculation regarding Mashrafe Mortaza staying on as captain also, but that was put to rest when the squad was announced for the Sri Lanka tour and he was there.

With the Sri Lankan team, Chandika Hathurusingha is also likely to be replaced soon according to reports in their media.

Coming to Afghanistan, Rashid Khan was recently named captain across all formats, bringing an end to a whirlwind series of events off the field for the side which reflected on their on-field performance too during the World Cup.

Head of the coaching staff Phil Simmons fell out with ACB member Dawlat Ahmadzai during the tournament and the latter was later removed. Now Rashid will have his task cut out when they play the one-off Test against Bangladesh in September, followed by a tri-series featuring Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

It was a disappointing campaign for South Africa as well. The Proteas, who are always highly rated despite the tag of chokers, finished seventh with just three wins to show for. While skipper Faf du Plessis has put his weight behind coach Ottis Gibson to continue, it remains to be seen whether he remains till the T20 World Cup in October/November 2020 in Australia.