KKR in the last phase of coach screening

With speculation growing over who will take over as coach of their IPL team, KKR will have the last phase of screening the prospective coaches on Monday.

updated: August 30, 2009 07:29 IST
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With speculation growing over who will take over as coach of their IPL team, Kolkata Knight Riders will have the last phase of screening the prospective coaches in Mumbai on Monday.

Tipped to be back as captain for IPL III, Sourav Ganguly will join the team think-tank - Shah Rukh Khan and Jay Mehta - in Mumbai tomorrow and the trio 'interview' former India coach John Wright, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram and former India batsman Pravin Amre

Recently name of Sandip Patil, who was with the rebel Indian Cricket League and switched sides availing the Board's amnesty offer, too has cropped up in the long list of Knight Riders' probable coaches.

But as of now, Wright and Akram are the only high profile candidates in fray.

The duo are known for their closeness to Ganguly, though the New Zealander is unlikely to get the post as he does not have any experience of coaching Twenty20 side.

As for Akram, who has Twenty20 experience with Hampshire, may not take up the post on a full time basis as it would clash with his commentary assignments.

If the Pakistani great is roped in, there would be a different role, similar to that of a consultant that would not demand a full time availability, according to a source.

Ganguly has earlier said the decision will be taken by Shah Rukh and Mehta and that he would have a say. .

"I am more concerned with the team. Jay and Shah Rukh will decide on the coach," Ganguly had said.

Tomorrow's meeting may also decide on the pending captaincy decision, that is almost certain to go to Ganguly, whose contract with Knight Riders will expire after the upcoming season.

After ousting the World Cup winning Australian coach John Buchanan following their last place finish in IPL II, the Knight Riders have seen presentations from a number of foreign and Indian candidates.

Former English cricketers Richard Pybus and Dermot Reeve, and former Australian cricketer Michael Bevan had given presentations last week.

The Knight Riders have also apparently approached Dav Whatmore and Duncan Fletcher among the other foreign candidates.

"Pybus is said to have emerged as the favourite as the management was impressed with his presentation. He has been asked to stay on for a second round of meeting on August 30," a Knight Riders source in Mumbai said.

Among the Indian candidates, Knight Riders have interviewed W V Raman, Ashok Malhotra and Lalchand Rajupt.

There are also unconfirmed reports that the side has also contacted the likes of Chandrakant Pandit and Paras Mhambrey.

The third edition of the cash-rich tournament will be held from March 12 to April 25.