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Thursday, June 18, 2009

KKR to get rid of Buchanan

The Kolkata Knight Riders are set to dump their coach John Buchanan. Sources in Kolkata, Mumbai and England say the controversial Aussie is being shown the door. It was always on the cards. The most high profile team had finished at the bottom of the IPL II in South Africa.

Even as the KKR top brass refused to confirm the development, reports said the Shah Rukh Khan-owned side informed this to the former Australian coach. Buchanan had a three year contract with the Kolkata franchisee.

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh is considered a possible candidate to succeed his one-time coach. Waugh, incidentally, was in Mumbai but it could not be confirmed if he had met KKR officials. The other names doing the rounds are those of former current National Cricket Academy coach Dav Whatmore and former India coach Lalchand Rajput.

When contacted, team CEO Joy Bhattacharya said he was not in a position to comment on this episode right now. "At the moment, I cannot confirm the development,"

Bhattacharya said and refused to elaborate further. Shah Rukh's media manager too
declined to comment saying, "We don't have any such reports. Both Shah Rukh Khan and (co-owner) Jay Mehta are out of station, so it's difficult to comment right now. Whenever, we get any confirmation, we will let you know."

However, the source said the Buchanan chapter was closed soon after the Australian landed a role with English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

"He (Buchanan) is joining the Englishmen for their Ashes preparation on June 28 in a short-term consultancy role with the ECB, which could develop into a full-time post," the insider said. "Buchanan was never in Shah Rukh's good books, especially after the team's disastrous show in South Africa. In fact, he (SRK) refused to meet the coach and refused him an appointment at his bungalow in Mumbai," claimed the source.

But Buchanan himself has hinted that his role in Kolkata will be ending soon. Whatmore, meanwhile, dismissed said he was not being approached for the job. "I am not in talks with anyone," the former Sri Lankan coach told a news agency.
--With inputs from agencies

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