John Buchanan on Wednesday said he was “shocked and disappointed” at being sacked as the Kolkata Knight Riders’ coach by franchise owner
Shah Rukh Khan because the actual deal was to build the team over five years.
Buchanan could not help the team’s cause in the first two years of the Indian Premier League and the KKR finished bottom-placed in the second season while courting maximum number of controversies, including the Australian’s multiple-captaincy theory.
“We were trying to build something over five years but Shah Rukh Khan, the owner and King of Bollywood, had a change of direction and I was told I was no longer needed. That was a a shock and a disappointment,” he said.
Buchanan felt Sourav Ganguly, who captained the team in the inaugural season, was not up to the pace demanded by the game which resulted in their losing the close matches.
“(Sourav) Ganguly was the icon player and the captain of the outfit and I told him I didn’t believe he was up to the pace of the game. We got to the last over in nine games and lost them, getting to the last ball five times and losing,” he was quoted as saying by the ‘Courier Mail’.
The former Australian coach, who is recuperating after a minor eye surgery, also created controversy when he accepted the job of a consultant to England’s cricket team just ahead of Ashes.
“I’d never coach another state or international side. There are certain loyalties involved but to help another coach? I’m quite happy to do that,” Buchanan clarified.
Asked about his barbed relationship with Shane Warne, Buchanan said the legendary bowler’s only agenda was to be in news.
“I think so. The thing about Warnie is that his agendas are pretty open. He just likes to be the centre of attention and be centre stage. He has a good way of managing that and finding his way there.”
In a candid admission, Buchanan, also said his ability and ambition to play for Australia did not match up.
“I was going to wear the baggy green cap like 60 to 70 per cent of young boys growing up but in the end, ambition and ability didn’t quite match up so I retired from playing in the mid-’80s. By that time, it was well and truly in my mind that it wasn’t as a player that I was going to make it in cricket,” he said.
Buchanan also said his extraordinary success as an Australian coach just happened.
“I was there about eight years and finished up by winning the World Cup in 2007. I never actually planned it all,” he said.