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Wright to join team for second match in Dhaka

Coach John Wright, will not join the Indian team until the second match in Dhaka, said BCCI chief.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2003 17:30 IST

Coach John Wright, whose father died last week, will not join the Indian team until the second match of the triangular limited-over series in Bangladesh, cricket board president Jagmohan Dalmiya said on Monday.

The April 11-20 series in Dhaka also features South Africa. After India's World Cup final against Australia last month, Wright left immediately for New Zealand to be with his father. Dalmiya said Wright had informed the board he would not be able to join the squad for India's opening match against Bangladesh on Friday.

"But Wright will resume his assignment in time for India's second match against South Africa on Sunday," Dalmiya said. Wright, the former New Zealand captain, became India's first foreign coach in 2000. Previously, the coaches had been former Indian players.

Wright's contract expired in March, but he was told to stay for the Dhaka series, while the Board of Control for Cricket in India decides on an extension. A decision is expected this month. Dalmiya said former test cricketer and national selector Ashok Malhotra would be the assistant coach and take charge during Wright's absence.

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly also sought some time off to recuperate from his back problem, but had agreed to tour Bangladesh. "I told the board I'd like some time off to rest my stressed back, but Dalmiya persuaded me to lead the side for this tournament," Ganguly said. "He said I have to be there as the captain."

Injuries and withdrawals by senior players have forced the selectors to make five changes to the Indian squad. Star batsman Sachin Tendulkar, vice captain Rahul Dravid and seam bowler Ashish Nehra were injured during the World Cup in South Africa, where India lost the final to Australia.

Veteran medium-pacer Javagal Srinath and legspinner Anil Kumble withdrew from the Dhaka tournament for personal reasons.

First Published: Apr 07, 2003 16:45 IST