KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Former England coach Duncan Fletcher has been appointed coach of India on a two year deal.
The 62-year-old is unlikely to be in charge of the team when they travel to the West Indies in June though, due to prior commitments.
Fletcher’s first assignment therefore is likely to be India’s tour of England later this summer - which includes a Test match and One Day International at Lord’s.
He succeeds former South Africa opening batsman Gary Kirsten, who departs with India at number one in the Test rankings and having just lifted the ICC World Cup.
Since leaving his post as England coach in 2007 Fletcher has worked with South Africa and New Zealand in consultancy roles.
Blast from the past
Fletcher, who captained Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup, was in charge of England for eight years.
Fletcher took up the role in 1999 after a successful stint with Glamorgan in county cricket and quickly set about reviving England’s fortunes. He was England’s first overseas coach.
The undoubted highlight came in 2005 when, alongside captain Michael Vaughan, he masterminded England’s first Ashes victory since 1986/87.
When he took over England were the worst ranked side in the Test game but Fletcher and captain Nasser Hussain formed a combative side who notched up victories in Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
They were hammered 4-1 by Steve Waugh’s Australia in 2001 though, and went down by the same margin in Australia 18 months later.
Vaughan succeeded Hussain in 2003 and led England through an extremely successful period which included an away win in South Africa and culminated in the 2005 Ashes victory.
Fletcher parted on a sour note in 2007 though after England surrendered the urn Down Under with a dismal 5-0 defeat and an equally poor World Cup campaign in the Caribbean.
His history with England adds another intruiging element to what already promises to be a fascinating tour.