In the modern era of cricket, it’s a common practice for national teams to hire foreign coaches. In fact, many international teams appoint specialized coaching staff for major ICC events. Several ex-Indian cricketers have taken up coaching roles or joined the support staff of other teams and achieved success.
In this piece, we will examine cricketers who have previously served or are set to serve with other teams in the 2023 World Cup:
1. Sandeep Patil
Sandeep Patil served as the coach of the Kenyan cricket team, which achieved a remarkable feat by reaching the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup. Before the commencement of the 2003 World Cup, Kenya was regarded as an underdog, and expectations were low for the African nation to advance beyond the group stage.
However, Kenya defied expectations by defeating Canada, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh during the group stage. New Zealand, on the other hand, opted not to travel to Kenya, resulting in Kenya being awarded the necessary points for that match. Kenya’s impressive performance included four victories during the group stage, allowing them to progress to the Super Sixes, where they defeated Zimbabwe.
While they faced losses against Australia and India in the Super Sixes, Kenya’s previous wins against Sri Lanka and New Zealand in the group stage secured their place in the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup. In the semi-finals, Kenya faced a defeat against India.
Notably, Kenya’s achievement of reaching the World Cup semi-finals was a rare occurrence for a non-Test-playing nation, and Sandeep Patil played a significant role in guiding the Kenyan team to this historic accomplishment.
2. Hanumant Singh
Hanumant Singh served as the head coach of the Kenya national team during the 1996 World Cup. This World Cup marked Kenya’s inaugural participation in the tournament, and they were placed in Group A alongside formidable teams such as India, Australia, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Zimbabwe.
Despite Kenya encountering challenges and losing four out of five matches in the group stage, their most notable accomplishment came in the form of a victory over West Indies in Pune. In this game, Kenya faced adversity after being dismissed for a modest total of 166 runs. However, the Kenyan bowlers put up a remarkable performance, restricting West Indies to a mere 93 runs and securing a 73-run victory.
Under the skilled mentorship of Hanumant Singh, young Kenyan players like Thomas Odoyo, Maurice Odumbe, Steve Tikolo, and Hitesh Modi greatly benefited from his guidance. These emerging talents went on to become pivotal figures in the Kenyan cricket team for the subsequent decade or more.
3. Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja played a pivotal role in the Indian ODI team during the 1990s, showcasing his skills in 196 ODIs with 179 innings. Over his ODI career, he accumulated 5359 runs at an impressive average of 37.22. Jadeja excelled as a finisher and was known for his prowess as a formidable late-order batsman.
As the 2023 World Cup approaches, Afghanistan has appointed Ajay Jadeja to serve as their mentor for the tournament. Alongside Jonathon Trott, Jadeja will be a valuable addition to the coaching staff for the upcoming World Cup.
While Jadeja has previously worked as a coach for the Delhi cricket team for a brief period, this marks his maiden experience mentoring an international team. Given his exceptional track record as a white-ball cricketer and his familiarity with ODI cricket and the playing conditions, his presence is expected to be a significant asset to the Afghanistan ODI team in the upcoming tournament.
4. Sridharan Sriram
Sriram had the opportunity to represent India in 8 ODIs between 2000 and 2004, although he struggled to secure a consistent place in the Indian team. Nevertheless, he has since thrived in a coaching career that spans international teams.
His latest role is as the technical consultant for the Bangladesh team in the 2023 World Cup. This isn’t his first time working with the Bangladesh team in this capacity, as he previously held the same position during the T20 World Cup in 2022.
Previously, Sriram was associated with the Australian men’s team, serving as their assistant coach and spin bowling consultant for a brief but impactful period.