- admin | August 22, 2021 | 3:01 am
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s head coach Simon Katich has stepped down from his role citing personal reasons. The Australian joined the RCB ranks in late 2019 and was at the helm during the first leg of the IPL earlier this year.
Mike Hesson, director of cricket operations at the franchise, will take over for the remainder of the IPL, which begins in the UAE next month.
Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday announced that their head coach Simon Katich has stepped down due to personal reasons in the lead up to the resumption of Indian Premier League 2021. The IPL will resume from September 19 in the UAE.
Confirming Katich’s exit, Rajesh Menon, vice-president, and head, RCB, said on Saturday: “Simon Katich has decided to step down mainly due to personal reasons. We as management completely support his decision. We would like to thank him for his work at RCB and wish him all the success for the future. As per the (franchise’s) business continuity plan, Mike Hesson will step in and discharge the duties of head coach until the end of this tournament.
Director of Cricket Mike Henson will double as the head coach until the end of the IPL 2021 season. The announcement was made when Henson interacted virtually with the press on Saturday, which was also Simon Katich’s 45th birthday.
The former Australia opener had played a key role in reviving the fortunes of RCB over the last 2 years. After coming onboard along in 2020, Katich oversaw the team’s preparations as the head coach while Henson was roped in as the Director of Cricket. Under Katich, RCB reached the play-offs in IPL 2020 — the first time they managed to do so since 2016.
RCB was in a strong position, having won 7 out of their first 10 matches in the IPL 2021 season before it was suspended in May following positive Covid-19 cases in the bio-bubbles of multiple franchises in Ahmadabad and New Delhi. RCB was at the 3rd spot on the 8-team points table.
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With a few of their New Zealand and Australian players either on national duty or opting out, RCB has roped in the Sri Lankan duo of Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera. The arrival of the 24-year-old Hasaranga will augur well for the Bengaluru-based franchise as the leg-spinner is among the top-ranked T20 bowlers on the ICC charts. The 29-year-old Chameera will add to the pace strength of the Virat Kohli-led squad.
Lankans on Board for IPL.
“We’ve replaced Adam Zampa with Hasaranga and are delighted to have him on board. He offers us some balance from the wrist spin point of view and also plenty of batting capabilities. Chameera is also bowling well at the moment. He’s got genuine pace and his white-ball game has developed significantly,” pointed out Hesson.
Speaking about the changes in the team, Hesson revealed, “Some significant changes in our playing squad. Finn Allen and Scott Kuggeleijn have been selected for New Zealand tours, and they won’t be part of RCB. Kane Richardson has made himself unavailable, as has Daniel Sams. Therefore, the balance of our squad has changed dramatically. So, we’ve gone about making purchases during the replacement window 4-5 days ago.
Also coming into the squad is the Singapore-born Tim David in place of Allen, “We have strengthened our middle-order possibilities. Tim David, a power player who could become a straight swap for either (Glenn) Maxwell or AB de Villiers if required. It gives us other options if required and he’s also performed in the subcontinent in recent times,” Hesson added.
The Indian players in the RCB line-up along with the support staff assembled in Bengaluru on Saturday for a seven-day quarantine.
“The team will depart via a chartered flight on August 29. Once we land in the UAE, we will have another six-day hard quarantine and the testing protocol as per BCCI,” explained Menon.