New Delhi: Former New Zealand captain and current Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming has emerged as a front-runner to replace Gary Kirsten as the coach of the national team.
Kirsten, whose contract expires after the 2011 ICC World Cup, has not shown much interest in extending his term. Despite the tremendous success that the current coach has managed to bring to Team India, Gary is set to step down post the World Cup, to spend more time with his family.
Stephen Fleming shares a tremendous rapport with India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The Fleming - Dhoni combination has worked wonders for Chennai's IPL team - the Super Kings won both the IPL and the Champions League in 2010. Dhoni's backing for Fleming is obvious considering the Chennai Super Kings link.
BCCI secretary N Srinivasan, who is also the co-owner of the Chennai Super Kings has also backed Fleming to take up the job. Srinivasan is also set to become the next board president and his support will prove to be vital in the appointment of the coach.
"Dhoni, who also captains CSK, has an excellent rapport with Fleming. Besides, Fleming is himself on very good terms with Srinivasan, who'll become the Board president this September," The Telegraph quoted one of the well placed sources.
"And, so, don't be surprised if the cool Fleming is Kirsten's successor. He has a lot going for him." said the source.
It will be interesting to see if Stephen Fleming would take up the offer, as Fleming had earlier ruled out taking over as the next New Zealand coach, saying he neither has time nor the desire for the job.
"It is not my interest to coach internationally. I am very happy with the business side of things I am looking to set up and with my family life. I do not have the time (for coaching) and I do not have the desire." Fleming had said.