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For Stephen Fleming, it boils down to sheer timing

cricket Updated: Apr 27, 2011 02:45 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal
Hindustan Times
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As the BCCI hunts for a new coach, Stephen Fleming fits the bill in many ways. The question is, does he want it?

The former New Zealand captain has everything going for him. The recently-retired cricketer is in sync with modern systems and strategies, is aware of the demands on cricketers, understands the Indian system and players, and has a personality suited for the job - a no nonsense, behind the scene man.

On Monday, the Kiwi said he felt honoured over being discussed as the potential candidate for the job but wasn't sure of the timing. In other words, he perhaps meant it's up to the BCCI to convince him of the timing by making him an offer he couldn't refuse.

Fleming's name is being discussed mainly because of his good equation with skipper MS Dhoni. Besides, he's the coach of Chennai Super Kings, the team owned by N Srinivasan - the BCCI secretary and the President-elect. His record with the team - he guided the team to IPL and the Champions League title last year - too adds weight to his candidature.

Would knowing Dhoni and having worked with him cajole him into accepting the job?

"I enjoy my relationship with all Indian players. Dhoni is a special player. He's a captain with free space, and his style of captaincy is different to that of mine. I have been working with Suresh Raina and others like Murali Vijay, R Ashwin as well. I am honoured that my name is being discussed as a potential candidate, but whether or not the time is right for me is debatable."

He has a young family back home and is earning good money for a couple of months on the road. So, will he trade it all for a high-pressure job that's always under scrutiny? In all probability, it will eventually boil down to how much the Indian board wants him to take up the job.

Among other names doing the rounds are those of Duncan Fletcher and Andy Flower - both less than favourites. Considering Gary Kirsten and John Wright are the benchmark, Fletcher loses out for reportedly being overbearing, and as for Flower, the Indian board wouldn't want to poach a coach contracted to another board.

The final name will be selected after a long-drawn process. Senior players will be consulted, and their views will carry a lot of weight.

So, the chosen one will need many things to fall in place for him.