Kolkata Knight Riders shorlist Dermot Reeve for coach’s job

Even as John Wright has confirmed that he is on Kolkata Knight Riders radar, ex-England allrounder Dermot Reeve is the latest to have been shortlisted by the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise to replace John Buchanan as the coach of the Indian Premier League side.

The owners of Knight Riders will screen the candidates, which include Reeve and former Pakistan coach Richard Pybus in a three-day meeting beginning on Sunday.

The meeting will be held in Mumbai in presence of the team’s think-tank, including principal owner Shah Rukh and Sourav Ganguly, who is strongly tipped to return as the captain of the side in the third edition of the IPL.

Meanwhle, Pybus also confirmed that he would meet the Knight Riders top brass on Saturday, which he said would only be a fact-finding meeting.

“I will be meeting the owners and representatives of Kolkata to understand what their expectations are,” Pybus said.

“I will be looking for if their expectation meets with mine. From my side, it is a fact-finding weekend,” he said.

According to a team insider, the Knight Riders are also looking at few prospective Indian candidates for the job.

“Basically, they want a foreign and Indian blend of coaching panel. The Indian names include Lalchand Rajput, Chandrakant Pandit and even Paras Mhambrey,” said the source.

Incidentally, Rajput was in-charge of the Indian team which won the first edition of the Twenty20 World Cup two years back, while Pandit was a veteran Mumbai coach.

Mhambrey, on the other hand, was the coach of Bengal side that finished Ranji runners-up in 2006-07 and thus has a good rapport with most of the Knight Riders players, including former India captain Ganguly.

Earlier, Wright, who is in Chennai as a selector of the New Zealand A team taking part in the ongoing Buchi Babu tournament, had said he was also in the running for Knight Riders coach’s position.

However, Wright’s chances appear remote as the former India coach, with little Twenty20 experience, does not fit in the Knight Riders scheme of things, said the source.

Reeve and Pybus, on the other hand, were in charge of Twenty20 teams that won their respective domestic championships last year.

Among the foreign candidates, former England coach Duncan Fletcher and Dav Whatmore were also in the shortlist.

Ridden with controversies after Buchanan floated his multiple captaincy theory, Knight Riders had a disastrous second IPL season, finishing last in South Africa.

The World Cup winning Australian coach’s tenure was marked with controversies especially after he replaced Ganguly with Kiwi Brendon McCullum as the skipper of the Kolkata side in IPL II. Buchanan was later sacked after the second edition of the Twenty20 tournament.

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