A file photo of Venkatesh Prasad. (Getty Images)
Mumbai: Saying that Indians are second to none, former pacer Venkatesh Prasad on Monday advocated having more Indian coaches in the Indian Premier League set-up.
Out of eight IPL teams, only Kings XI Punjab have an Indian head coach in Sanjay Bangar.
"It is an Indian Premier League. It is good to have a mix of foreign coaches, foreign players, because you are definitely going to improve your knowledge of the game, but it is not that all foreigners are knowledgeable. Please let us not go by that. I think that is something which people need to understand," said the 44-year-old former bowler, who guided Uttar Pradesh to the finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 event.
"I have seen so many players who are better than the foreign players. So many coaches in India who are better than the foreign coaches, who are part of the IPL set-up now," added the Bangalore-born Prasad who played 33 Tests and 161 ODIs for the country between 1996 and 2001.
Prasad, who had been associated with the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings as bowling coach in the past, is not part of any IPL franchise this year and he termed it as 'disappointing'.
"It is disappointing in a way because it is something that I feel every franchise needs to look at - having Indian coaches as part of their team management - for a simple reason that only four foreign players can play in the 11 and the remaining other seven are Indians," he said.
Prasad said the break from his vocation will help him analyse things from outside that he hoped would stand him in good stead next year.
"It is disappointing to miss out but there is always a learning (process). It is always good to step back and then look at the scenario from outside and then learn a few more things, so that you are better as a coach and better as a person when you start doing this, hopefully from the next year onwards," he said.
"I am going to be part of the media and keep watching games and keep analysing them. I would be able to watch and analyse the games and obviously learn a few things by doing those. So, I hope to increase my knowledge," the former Karnataka player added.
Prasad further said coaching in IPL side was a big challenge as everything is result-oriented.
"It is an amazing challenge because you are only looked at as per your achievements and the results that you have given to the team. It's not about what sort of a contribution you are making to the team. That is a sad part actually.
"Here not only the franchise owners or people should not only look at results but also look at developing players.
Whether the people in the management, the coaching staff are they doing that or not, that is also very important. But that is not the case in most of the franchises, I would say, because they are only looking at the result," he said.
Prasad, who took 96 and 196 wickets in Tests and ODIs respectively, recollected his experience of having been part of the last six IPLs as part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise first and then Chennai Super Kings.
"It has been a huge challenge for me being a part of six IPLs. And in that for four years I was part of Royal Challengers Bangalore and twice I was with Chennai Super Kings. I was part of the team when we won both IPL and Champions League for CSK and I have played the finals of Champions League for RCB.
"In that way I have gained a lot and it has been a huge challenge to work with the players, work with that sort of set up when people are only looking at the result, where it is result-driven or result-oriented.
"That really pushes you to the hilt and there are a lot of preparations that one has to work over, especially for the support staff. It is easy for the players. Coaching is probably the toughest job I have come across," he said.