After finishing at the bottom in IPL 2023, SunRisers Hyderabad made a change in their coaching staff by appointing Daniel Vettori as the head coach, replacing Brian Lara. An iconic figure in cricket and one of the leading Test run-scorers, Lara stepped into the position previously held by Tom Moody, despite having relatively little coaching experience.
He commanded a balanced squad with successful foreign players and a strong Indian foundation. The West Indian coach also had renowned figures Dale Steyn and Muttiah Muralitharan on his coaching team.
However, frequent team changes, senior players’ struggles, and role confusion led to just four wins in 14 matches. Lara added his name to the list of star cricketers who found coaching in the IPL challenging.
Here are three additional names with similar situations:
#3 Shaun Pollock
In IPL 2008, Shaun Pollock stood out as Mumbai Indians’ key player and also took charge as captain in place of the interim skipper. Sachin Tendulkar was injured, and Harbhajan Singh, his replacement, was suspended for an incident with Sreesanth.
Pollock’s entry saw the team win six consecutive matches but narrowly miss the qualifiers. Following his retirement, he became MI’s head coach in 2009, succeeding Lalchand Rajput, the manager during India’s 2007 T20 World Cup win.
IPL 2009 moved to his home country due to elections in India. However, Mumbai faced difficulties after a promising beginning, managing just five wins out of 14 matches and ending up in the seventh position.
Their heavy reliance on Sachin Tendulkar, JP Duminy, and Lasith Malinga put pressure on the younger players, and the majority of the Indian core found it challenging to maintain consistency.
#2 Gary Kirsten
Gary Kirsten, a renowned South African cricketer, contributed to India’s 2011 ODI World Cup victory. He also mentored the defunct Gujarat Titans, leading them to a title and second place in the previous two seasons under head coach Ashish Nehra.
Yet, he struggled to succeed as the head coach in the IPL. He took charge of Delhi Capitals in 2014 and 2015, but the team’s performance resulted in finishing last and second-to-last, respectively.
Kirsten took on the role of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s batting coach in 2018 and later became the head coach in 2019. Unfortunately, the team finished sixth and last in those respective seasons.
#1 Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble assumed the role of Punjab Kings’ (previously Kings XI Punjab) head coach in 2020, following a successful but controversial conclusion to his time with the Indian national team.
Regarded as a strict disciplinarian and astute strategist, he was expected to bring stability to a team that had not achieved better than fifth place in the last five years.
Yet, his partnerships with KL Rahul in the first two years and then with Mayank Agarwal in 2022 proved ineffective. The team ended up in sixth place for three consecutive seasons due to issues like team balance, Rahul’s performance, and losing winnable matches.
Even though he was later replaced by Trevor Bayliss in IPL 2023, there was no significant improvement. The pair failed to elevate the Kings’ performance, resulting in an eighth-place finish.