Indian cricket team's former fielding coach reveals controversy regarding his dismissal
Trevor Penney was the Indian fielding coach in 2014 before he was abruptly let go. He worked Duncan Fletcher, and during his tenure he observed that Indian cricketers are treated like no others around the world.
According to First Post, Penney said that while he was experienced around international cricket, he was quite taken aback by how Indian cricketers were idolized.
“I had done a few IPLs and had seen what goes on and travelled there as part of Sri Lanka's touring side. I saw the players' enormous popularity but it wasn't until I was part of the Indian team as a fielding coach that I realised it is more than just cricket; the players are actually gods. You can’t understand that until you are in it,” said Penney.
Penney had represented Warwickshire County Cricket Club for 17 years. In 2005, he became Tom Moody's assistant with Sri Lanka. He accumulated experience by working with IPL franchises and with state teams in Australia. Recently, he played a coaching role with St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Penney was astounded by the level of fame cricketers enjoyed in India. He said “You could have security guards on your floor but they will be more interested in getting an autograph than protecting the floor. And there are people outside every hotel. It is just wonderful!"
He mentioned that there were occasions that he had to give a reality check to the team. He said, "Part of my role involved bringing the players back to being cricketers. They still have to work hard and practice because it took an enormous mental effort just to come back on to a cricket field after being put up so high. It is not easy for Indian cricketers, that's for sure,” he adds.
Penney's tenure with the Indian team came to an abrupt end. He left the team in August 2014, under circumstances which were not made clear. When Ravi Shastri was installed as the team director, Penney and bowling coach Joe Dawes were sent on leave and not recalled.
“We went to England, won the second Test and everyone thought it was going to be a great series and then two Tests later I was removed as the assistant coach. It was pretty weird." he said.
Penney said that he was disappointed with how his tenure ended because he felt the team was getting better.
"It was so upsetting because you are not doing it for that package, you are doing it because you want to get to the World Cup with the team that you have groomed for four years." he said.
“Had they said this is dreadful, the performances have been dreadful, you have been losing for years, that would've made sense but that wasn’t the case.” he added.
However his tenure may have ended, Penney complimented India's legends and stated that he sees an improvement on the horizon for India.
He said “Sachin (Tendulkar), Rahul (Dravid) and some others such as VVS Laxman had great careers and did well away from home. The new wave is here now and are determined to improve on that. It still hasn’t happened, they are still losing in away tours but I think they are getting closer to the inflection point where results would start to improve."