One thing is for sure. Whoever wins the World Cup, there will be a huge turnover of coaches.
John Buchanan had announced in 2005 itself that the 2007 World Cup would be his last assignment as Australia coach. Whether he is interested in coaching a national team again or is not yet known, but all he has to do is hint that he is interested and he will be flooded with offers.
Among the other three semifinalists, Tom Moody, Sri Lanka coach, may want to look at other opportunities, though he has refused to entertain or consider any offers till the end of the Cup.
On the other hand, another Australian, Dav Whatmore, has spoken on record of his interest in coaching India.
In fact, when India was looking for a replacement for John Wright, Whatmore had offered to break his contract with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and come over to India. That did not impress the BCCI, which quite rightly felt that if he could walk out of a contract with Bangladesh midway, what was to stop him from doing that to India if, say, Australia offered him a contract?
The other coaches coming under the hammer are England’s Duncan Fletcher and West Indies’ Bennett King.
Fletcher, who just quit, has been the longest-serving coach, having been in office since 2000, and has had some success with victories over Pakistan and Sri Lanka overseas, apart from the Ashes win in 2005. Thereafter, somehow it’s been downhill.
Almost every former England captain and player wanted a change not only in the coach, but also the captain and the chairman of the selection committee, for England’s poor showing.
Bennett King has blamed the West Indies’ cricket structure for his team’s failure. He has been at the job for four years and apart from the Champions Trophy win in 2004, West Indies has done nothing of note during that time.
If King thought the structure was not conducive to producing a good team, did he bring it to the notice of the authorities or has the realisation struck him only now, as the Windies limped off the World Cup radar?
South Africa and New Zealand are the only other Test teams with local coaches and both Mickey Arthur and John Bracewell have done exceedingly well with their teams, so there may be no changes there.
Pakistan will be looking for a new coach after the unfortunate demise of Bob Woolmer, and Greg Chappell left India before India left him.
When Chappell took over, there was optimism all around that Indian cricket would be ready to challenge Australia for the title of the best team in the world.
Instead, at the end of his tenure, Indian cricket is down in the dumps with a first-round exit in the World Cup, and is as fractured and divided as seldom before. The most promising of talents, as recognised by the ICC Cricket voting panel, has lost his way and nobody of note has come through in this period.
The batting, which should have flourished under the guidance of one of the best batsmen, has looked tentative and has lost the spark that made the Indian team a must-see. Despite all this, and him saying in an interview that the BCCI is run like Zimbabwe, the BCCI is reportedly offering him a place as a consultant to the National Cricket Academy.
It’s never easy sacking somebody, however incapable and inefficient, but to give another job which deals with the future of Indian cricket, makes one wonder if we will ever get out of the inferiority complex syndrome.
In the meantime, comes the news that Chappell is going to head the Australian Cricket Academy. If true, then it could be the best thing that has happened for world cricket.
Now even Ireland has a chance of beating Australia sooner than later.