Not many would have heard of Julien Fountain, but chances are you might just hear more about the man, considering how persistently he is applying for a job in Indian cricket.
On October 1, Fountain applied for the post of fielding coach, Hindustan Times has learnt, after being rejected for the same position about a year ago. The Board of Control for Cricket in India then had Robin Singh in place and did not take Fountain’s offer seriously. There’s no indication that they’re going to do so now, but that hasn’t stopped the Briton from trying.
For the record, Fountain has worked with the West Indies, Pakistan and England (T20) teams on-and-off, usually on a series-by-series basis. He has also worked with age-group teams and women’s teams, against mostly from the countries above, but rarely on a full-time basis. Fountain holds an ECB Level 4 coaching certificate and lists 15 different counties as those he has worked with between 1996 and now.
In his three-part application to the Board, Fountain lists as references former and current cricketers, including Ian Bishop, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kamran Akmal - not quite the A-list of fielding.
Fountain’s application includes a short-term plan to improve the fielding ahead of the 2010 T20 World Cup in the West Indies, and lists Throwing Biomechanics, Catching, Ground Fielding, Sliding-Diving-Rolling, Tactical Awareness, Pre-shot Movements and Stances, Statistical Analysis and individual testing and programmes for players.
The most interesting part of the application, however, is an open letter to skipper M.S. Dhoni and coach Gary Kirsten, neither of whom would have received the communication as it was sent to the BCCI. Fountain begins by extensively quoting the captain and coach being critical of the fielding in a press conference. He then writes: “I can guarantee you, if you allow me to coach your squad, you will see an improvement in all areas of your fielding game, which I will be able prove to you with statistics taken during the series.”
Given that Fountain has extensive playing experience- he represented the British baseball team in European Championships in 1988, 1989 and 1991 - and has done a fair bit of coaching, how he can “guarantee” anything, is unclear.
At the moment, there isn’t any guarantee that the Board will read Fountain’s proposal in any detail.