Cricket has produced numerous world-class talents who set the world on fire with their exploits. You can name great players by the dozen, but great coaches are tough to find. This is because coaching is a completely different ball game. Great players have tried to transition into the role of a coach with limited success, while some less-famous cricketers have made their mark as excellent coaches.
In this piece, we will take a look at 5 best cricketers who became coaches.
#1. Andy Flower
Andy Flower’s name will be remembered by English cricket fans for years to come. The retired Zimbabwean batsman had already made his name as one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen in the world. So when he was appointed as the head coach of the England cricket team, expectations were high.
Flower delivered on those expectations by guiding the team to three Ashes win (2009,2011 and 2013) and the T20I World Cup trophy in 2010. He was awarded as the ‘Officer of the Order of the British Empire’ in 2011 for his contribution to England’s success.
#2. Duncan Fletcher
From one Zimbabwean left-hander to another, Duncan Fletcher is mostly remembered for his contribution to the resurgence of the English in Test cricket. It was under his tenure as coach that England won the Ashes from Australia after a long wait of 18 years. His contract wasn’t renewed by the ECB after some of his decisions backfired in key situations.
He was later appointed as the coach for the Indian cricket team in 2011, seemingly on the recommendation of the outgoing Gary Kirsten. He guided India to 8 consecutive series victories, which included the 2013 Champions Trophy. His tenure as the coach of the Indian national team ended after the 2015 World Cup. Fletcher has now been granted British citizenship as a reward for his contribution to English cricket.
#3. Dav Whatmore
Dav Whatmore is a former Australian batsman who made his mark mainly in first-class cricket. He has coached teams like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka (twice) and Pakistan. Dav was also the coach of Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League for a few years.
He led Sri Lanka to the 1996 World Cup, and helped Bangladesh win their first ever International Test victory in 2005. He helped Pakistan win the Asia Cup in 2012. Following his success with the teams in Asia, Zimbabwe appointed him as the head coach in 2014. However, a poor showing in the World Cup led to Dav being sacked. Despite this setback, Dav has cemented himself as one of the best coaches in the business today.
#4. John Wright
John Wright is a retired New Zealand left-hand batsman. He was also the captain of the national team on many occasions. He began his coaching career as the coach of Kent County Cricket Club. Following positive results, he was appointed as the head coach of the Indian national cricket team in 2000.
He was the coach of India for 5 years (2000-2005) and guided the team to a World cup final appearance in 2003 and a home Test series win against a formidable Australian team. His work ethic and attitude elevated him above his peers as a great coach.
#5. Gary Kirsten
The name you’ve all been waiting for. Gary Kirsten’s legend was already huge, with him having hit the highest score by a South African in ODI cricket (188*). When he was appointed as the head coach of the Indian national team, there was a lot of buzz around him.
He over-delivered on his expectations, as e helped India lift the World Cup after a long wait of 28 years. He was praised by all the players and team staff for his dedication and passion for the job. He then decided to leave the Indian team in order to coach the Proteas from 2011-2013. MS Dhoni was once quoted saying that Kristen was “the best thing to happen to Indian cricket.”