Former India coach John Wright is in line to replace John Buchanan as the new coach of the Knight Riders, according to sources.
Wright’s name was arrived at after a discussion between Shah Rukh Khan, the co-owner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, and former India skipper and KR player Sourav Ganguly, in the UK recently.
Both SRK and Ganguly were in England to get their doctorate degrees.
Sources said though Wright was a frontrunner, there are other candidates too in line for the coaching job. The team finished at the bottom of the rung in the second edition of the T20 event, held in South Africa.
“There are other names which figured in their discusions. Now it’s all up to Shah Rukh. He is going to take the final call. It’s likely that preference will be given to coaches who have worked in India before and have good knowledge of players and conditions,” suggested sources.
The Knight Riders sacked Buchanan last month after poor shows in the last two IPL seasons and the team is desperate for a turnaround in performance in 2010.
Others who are in the fray as a possible replacement for the controversial Australian include National Cricket Academy director Dav Whatmore, former India opener WV Raman, former stumper Chandrakant Pandit, manager of the 2007 World T20-winning Indian team Lalchand Rajput, former Pakistan coach Richard Pybus and former India pacer Paras Mhambrey.
But will Wright, who coached India when Ganguly was at the helm, agree to join KR? “He is willing if the franchise wants him,” suggested sources.
Wright is currently attached to New Zealand Cricket while Whatmore is on the payrolls of the BCCI. But there is unlikely to be any conflict of interest should any of them agree to coach KR.