From John Wright, Greg Chappell, Gary Kirsten and now Duncan Fletcher for India, Richard Pybus, Bob Woolmer and Geoff Lawson for Pakistan and Dav Whatmore, Tom Moody, Trevor Bayliss and now Stuart Law among those Sri Lanka hired, the list of western coaches for sub-continent national cricket teams is never-ending, especially over the last two decades.
Though India and Pakistan joined the frenzy much later than their southern neighbours, and were soon joined by Bangladesh, over the last decade, the number of Australians making a living out of coaching sub-continent teams is astonishing.
What, then, makes sub-continental teams make a beeline for foreign coaches? “I think what they like about us is the fact that we are straight-shooting. We tell it how it is. We say it on your face,” ex-Australian all-rounder Law had told HT during Sri Lanka’s tour to India in late 2009, his first international coaching assignment.
“It doesn’t mean I don’t like you if I tell you that you’ve done something wrong. It's just that you haven’t done something you should be doing. I am not going to become your best friend because of what you’re doing but I’ll just tell you you’re made to do better than that. That’s the way we’ve been portrayed over the years. Not that it means there’s no one else who does that. But there’s a way in which we do that and it can be infectious.”
Australia is the only nation to never have a foreigner coach for the national team.