CSK CEO denies reports of Stephen Fleming being approached for India head coach role, delivers sharp statement

The speculations surrounding former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming potentially succeeding Rahul Dravid as the head coach of the Indian cricket team picked up pace over the past few days. With Fleming’s illustrious tenure as the head coach of Chennai Super Kings, where he steered the team to a joint-record five Indian Premier League (IPL) titles, his name has naturally emerged as among the top contenders for the prestigious role.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coach Stephen Fleming addresses media (PTI)

A report from The Indian Express suggested that the BCCI views Fleming as a promising candidate due to his exceptional man-management skills and remarkable coaching pedigree.

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However, amidst these swirling rumours, CSK promptly responded and refuted any such claims. Kasi Viswanathan, the CEO of CSK, quashed the speculation, stating that there has been no communication between Fleming and the franchise regarding the Indian head coach role. “I have not heard anything like this. There has been no communication from Stephen Fleming to CSK either,” remarked Viswanathan, ending the speculations for now.

The criteria set forth by the BCCI for the head coach position seem tailor-made for someone of Fleming’s calibre. The prerequisites demand a substantial cricketing background, including a minimum playing experience of 30 Test Matches or 50 ODIs, or significant coaching stints at various levels of the game. Fleming’s extensive coaching tenure with CSK, along with his vast experience in international cricket, certainly aligns with these requirements.

“Should have played minimum of 30 Test Matches or 50 ODI’s; or Head Coach of a full member Test Playing Nation, for a minimum period of 2 years; or Head Coach of an Associate member/IPL Team or Equivalent International League/First Class Teams/ National A teams, for a minimum period of 3 years; or Should have BCCI Level 3 Certification or equivalent; and Should be below 60 years of age,” read the board’s list of requirements.

Moreover, the remuneration package offered by the BCCI is deemed negotiable, with the expectation that it will be commensurate with the candidate’s experience and expertise.

Fleming with CSK

Stephen Fleming began his career in the IPL as a player for CSK but transitioned into a coaching role following his retirement. He is among the rare cricketers associated with only one franchise since their first appearance at the tournament.

CSK are currently in the race for a playoff spot, with the side sitting third in the points table (14 points with one match remaining). They will take on the Royal Challengers Bengaluru in their last game of the group stage, which can potentially be a virtual knock-out for the fourth spot.

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