Duncan Fletcher etched his name into the record books by becoming the first cricket coach to complete a century of matches at the helm of affairs of a national team during the first Test between India and England at Lord’s on Thursday.
The Zimbabwean, who took the reins of Indian cricket team after Gary Kirsten, rose to fame following English side’s 2005 Ashes victory at home after a gap of 18 years.
In his eight year association with England, Fletcher saw the team beat Sri Lanka in their own den and also helped them clinch victories against the West Indies and New Zealand, apart from their Ashes heroics.
In 2004, England won record eight consecutive Tests, beating New Zealand 3-0 and West Indies 4-0 at home, before winning the first Test in South Africa.
The 62-year-old, who became England’s first foreign coach in 1999, led English team in 96 matches before guiding Team India to a successful Caribbean tour.
Believed to be hard task master, Fletcher comes as a rare breed. “We are still getting used to his well disguised humour,” quips Rahul Dravid.
“He is a good, calm presence in the dressing room. He is technically very knowledgeable and you can make out that he’s worked with many batsmen in many situations,” Dravid revealed.
“We are very lucky to have someone like Duncan with us because he is a very experienced and very mature person. I feel I can learn from him. There is always scope for improving and having discussions with someone like Duncan can only make you a better cricketer,” said Laxman.
“The Lord’s Test is going to be his 100th as a coach, which is a great achievement in itself, and he will be the first coach to achieve it,” he added.