Bangalore: When the Delhi Daredevils were knocked out of the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League, it came as no surprise that Eric Simons was the one answering the media's heated questions. Why was Morne Morkel left out? Where did Sunny Gupta come from? Not for the first time in his career Simons, as coach, was left carrying the can. When South Africa limped out of the 2003 World Cup following a bizarre misreading of the Duckworth-Lewis par scores, Simons was back in the spotlight, as though he was solely responsible for what happened. Not long ago, every time Ishant Sharma overstepped, television cameras would frame Simons, the bowling coach, allowing the commentators to have a rant. It's no surprise that Simons has strong and independent views about what a coach's role in cricket is and where he'd like to see it go. Excerpts from a chat with Wisden India:
You've been part of the coaching set-up of two international teams. What attracted you to the IPL job?
The franchise itself has values and objectives that appealed to me. We have an amazing group of owners in terms of their attitude towards the game, towards the way we structure the team and what they want to achieve. That's crucially important. What I really enjoyed as a coach was the different cricket cultures and how they worked together. This was important for me to learn, to grow and hopefully to instruct and teach as well.