Ricky Ponting had Australia plans: Mumbai Indians' owner Akash Ambani
Bangalore: Mumbai Indians are known as much for their star-filled support staff as replacing their chief coach almost year upon year. If it was Shaun Pollock one year, John Wright the next, Anil Kumble in various roles for a bit and Ricky Ponting last year, they now have former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardena as their coach.
Asked to explain the same, team owner Akash Ambani said: "Ricky Ponting wanted to coach his national side (he's involved with the Australian team presently) and so we had to respect that. And look where Anil bhai is (referring to Kumble being coach of the India team)." Indeed, MI seems to have become a breeding ground for national side coaches.
KKR's Russell strategy
Kolkata Knight Riders have the big picture in mind. When Andre Russell was banned from playing any cricket for a year for missing out on informing anti-doping agency WADA on his whereabouts as is mandated, KKR could easily have let him go and saved on the money. But he still figures on the team list for the simple reason that next season the IPL is set for a big change with a fresh auction.
CEO Venky Mysore readily admitted that it was indeed their strategy to hold onto Russell. "We are not sure what will happen next year but there was no question of releasing Russell," said Mysore, who appeared pleased as punch at his team's buys at yesterday's auction.