Delhi Ranji coach Vijay Dahiya has been handed a difficult job as the assistant coach of Kolkata Knight Riders.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for someone like me,” Dahiya told HT. “Whoever comes as chief coach would have had a lot of international exposure that I can benefit from. In addition, it will be a great experience working with Wasim bhai (former Pakistan captain Akram).”
The Indian Premier League side was seventh in Season I and eighth in Season II of the League and will be looking to reinvent themselves in Season III next year. Dahiya will be crucial to that change. One of the main criticisms of the previous John Buchanan led-team management was that it had no Indians in any key jobs and a surfeit of foreigners, leading to a communication problem with the majority Indian side.
Dahiya, who signed on the dotted line on Wednesday at the KKR camp in Gurgaon, is being brought in both to bridge that gap and also because of his success two seasons ago with Delhi, when they won the Ranji Trophy.
Dahiya, it is learnt, met with the KKR management, including co-owner Jay Mehta, Sourav Ganguly and bowling consultant Akram. While a head coach is yet to be named — Richard Pybus and John Wright are the frontrunners — Akram, incidentally, will reportedly take on the role of the team’s “mentor”.
Dahiya, a former India wicket-keeper, also said that the only request he had made before committing to KKR was that he be allowed to coach Delhi through the season. “I have to,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been offered anything if it hadn’t been for the opportunities I got with Delhi. So this has to come first during the season”.