It is all set to be an interesting few weeks in the subcontinent with head coach positions opening up left, right and centre.
All five international sides in the region – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan – are on the lookout for a new head coach following the completion of the 2019 ICC World Cup in England.
Ravi Shastri’s contract with the Indian team is up and the BCCI has already invited applications from interested candidates. Pakistan have opted against renewing Mickey Arthur’s contract while Bangladesh have parted ways with Steve Rhodes just one year into his two-year contract.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have appointed an interim coach for their upcoming series against New Zealand with the board attempting to severe ties with current coach Chandika Hathurusingha despite him holding a contract till the end of 2020.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, have parted ways with West Indies icon Phil Simmons.
As the search for the next head coach for the five sides hots up, we take a look at the leading men in contention.
The former Black Caps head coach has stepped down from his Kings XI Punjab role after just one season with the IPL franchise. The media in New Zealand has reported that Hesson is Bangladesh Cricket Board’s leading contender to replace Rhodes while he is also said to be in the running for the India and Pakistan jobs.
Hesson has a strong resume to back up him up and spent six years with the Black Caps between 2012 to 2018 while leading them to a runners-up finish in the 2015 World Cup. He is responsible for transforming the culture within the team alongside then skipper Brendon McCullum.
Hesson has previously coached the Kenya and Argentina national teams as well and should be a good fit for any side.
The Australian is a heavyweight in the coaching arena with nearly 15 years of experience behind him. Having taken the Sri Lanka team all the way to the final of the 2007 World Cup, Moody is no stranger to dealing with the subcontinent hierarchy.
He has extensive coaching experience on the T20 franchise circuit with stints in the IPL, Big Bash League, Pakistan Super League, Bangladesh Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League.
He was recently removed from his position with the Sunrisers Hyderabad and will be on the radar of most teams in the subcontinent.
The Sri Lanka coach’s position is currently looking untenable with the board actively looking to replace him after just a year into his role. He has already been suspended by the Sri Lanka Cricket despite holding a valid contract until the end of 2020.
With Rumesh Ratnayake appointed as Sri Lanka coach for the upcoming New Zealand series, Hathurusingha’s future looks bleak. Hathurusingha is not short of experience either and he could be in demand for other jobs which have opened in the subcontinent.
He has previously coached the UAE, Canada and had a successful three and a half-year stint with Bangladesh before taking over his current role with Sri Lanka.
The former World Cup winning all-rounder has been at the helm of the India men’s team since 2017 and is reportedly favoured to get another extension. Shastri’s numbers are good with India climbing to the top of the ICC Test rankings under his tenure while achieving a historic maiden Test series win on Australian soil.
However, while the team has been successful for the most part in bilateral ODI cricket, the loss to New Zealand in the semi-final is seen as a failure. Away Test series defeats against South Africa and England have dented his record as well.
What Shastri has going for him is his rapport with Virat Kohli and his method of working in the background while letting the skipper take most of the limelight. As long as Kohli and India are not complaining, Shastri will likely keep his job for some time to come.
The South African has been left ‘hurt and disappointed’ after not being granted an extension by Pakistan and could be contender for other sides in the subcontinent. Under Arthur, Pakistan climbed to the top of the T20 rankings while also clinching the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
However, his record otherwise hasn’t been too flattering with ‘home’ Test defeats in the UAE against Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Pakistan have not been at their best in the ODI format since that Champions Trophy win and missed out on a semi-final spot in the recent World Cup.
He does have previous coaching experience with the South African and Australian men’s teams and will be desperate to land another international job soon.
The former Sri Lanka skipper has been on the coaching circuit over the last few years with stints as batting consultant of the England team and head coach roles at IPL side Mumbai Indians and BPL side Khulna Titans.
Does not have the best of relationships with Sri Lanka Cricket but could be a good shout for some other teams.
The former Zimbabwe stalwart had five mostly successful years with the England cricket team as head coach and has continued to work in the set up as Technical Director of Elite Coaching.
He is reportedly eyeing up T20 franchise coaching jobs but would be an ideal candidate for many sides in the subcontinent with his meticulous approach.
The former Scotland head coach is currently the only man from the Pakistan coaching setup to have survived the chop after a recent review of the team’s performance. While he is currently employed as the fielding coach, Bradburn can make the step up if needed given his previous coaching experience with Scotland and New Zealand A.
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