Greg Chappell is 'virtually' ready for a second stint as coach in India. The Pathan brothers — Irfan and Yusuf — have decided to use the expertise of the former Australia captain for their newly-launched academy CAP (Cricket Academy of Pathans).
Yusuf Pathan kisses brother Irfan during the launch of their Cricket Academy in CCI yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
Chappell will train Indian coaches at the academy and also mentor training programmes. Chappell's uneasy relationship with the Indian team during his two-year reign (between 2005-07) is well chronicled.
So, what made the Pathans fall back on Chappell? "His syllabus (coaching modules) was most impressive. He also has a plan to train coaches which is quite essential. His vast experience will help our coaches grow. He will be very good for our youngsters.
So yes, we are virtually going to bring him (Chappell) back to India," a beaming Irfan told mid-day during the launch of the academy at the Cricket Club of India yesterday.
The academy will first open in Baroda in October, where they will approach schools to begin with. Trainees at the academy will have the services of a full-time nutritionist, a physiotherapist and a mental conditioning coach.
'Learnt a lot from Chappell'
Irfan flourished at the international level under Chappell's guidance. He became the first bowler in the history of Test cricket to claim a hat-trick in the first over, when he had Pakistan reeling in Karachi in 2006. He also managed his highest ODI score of 83 versus Sri Lanka at Nagpur in 2005 under Chappell. The Aussie was credited with helping him become a bowling all-rounder.
"He has an amazing knowledge of the game. I learnt a lot from him. Yes, he was a task master. He just wanted things to be done. During his time we started focussing more on catching and fitness. He was very positive about getting into the venture. He understood our vision well," Irfan said.
Meanwhile, Chappell, who spoke from Australia via video conference, said: "I am excited to be working on this. I have always believed that cricket is learnt and not taught. I see a lot of players practicing too much in the nets. My aim is to give them a live match situation."
The Pathan brothers, however, made it clear that they will not get involved in coaching. "We still have four to five years of international cricket left in us. We are only going to oversee the academy," said Irfan.