The appointment of Duncan Fletcher has not amused Kapil Dev. The legendary all-rounder, not one to mince words, was perplexed by the choice.
"Who is Duncan Fletcher?" was Kapil's terse reaction when HT contacted him on Wednesday. "I would like to see Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh as coaches of the Indian team. Not because they are Indians but because they did a great job at the T20 World Cup (in 2007)," said the captain of the 1983 World Cup winning team who was also coach of India for a short period in 2000.
Prasad and Singh were appointed bowling and fielding coach, respectively, after the 2007 World Cup. They were sacked in October 2009 and the BCCI didn't explain why.
"Now the BCCI is happy, (MS) Dhoni is happy and the team is also happy. What I think doesn't matter," said Kapil with a hint of bitterness in his voice.
The legendary allrounder even refused to comment on Fletcher's ability as a player, saying he had no memories of the two matches he played against the Zimbabwe team led by him in 1983, including the one in which he scored 175 not out. "That happened almost 30 years ago. I don't remember much of him as a player."
Among other Indians to have played against Fletcher, Yashpal Sharma and Sandeep Patil refused to comment, citing their contractual obligations with the BCCI. While Sharma is a national selector, Patil is Director of Operations at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.
Madanlal was willing to speak. This member of the 1983 team played against Fletcher in the Lancashire league before and after the World Cup and said the striking thing about the Zimbabwean was his pedigree. "He was a good utility player. He would contribute with something or the other."
Roger Binny too had some recollection of Fletcher the cricketer. "I remember him mainly as a bowler. Can't really recall Fletcher as a batsman," said the former all-rounder.