Two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Kolkata Knight Riders has named former Australian cricketer Simon Katich as the franchise’s assistant coach, The Hindu reports. The 40-year-old will serve as deputy to Jacques Kallis, who was named as the team’s head coach last week.
Kallis, who replaced Trevor Bayliss at the helm of the KKR following the latter’s appointment as England head coach earlier in the year, expressed his delight at the opportunity to work with Katich who the former South African all-rounder described as being a good reader of the game.
Though Katich didn’t enjoy a good run as a player in India’s premier T20 league, having featured sparingly for Kings XI Punjab during the first three seasons of the IPL, Kallis is confident that the Australian will have a much more fruitful time as part of the KKR’s coaching setup.
“It is great to have Simon on my management team. I have played many games against him and his understanding of the game is very good. He is a great asset to have and I really look forward to formulating plans with him and the rest of the team to help KKR to another title in 2016,” Kallis said.
Katich was a prolific Test cricketer for Australia featuring in 56 matches over a ten-year period and scored 4188 runs at an average of little over 45. He scored 10 centuries and was a more than useful with his part-time chinaman bowling picking up 21 wickets in the longer format of the game.
His career highlight in the Test format was when he became the first Australian batsman since Mark Taylor in 1998 to carry his bat through an innings when he remained unbeaten on 131 against New Zealand in 2008-09.
Katich was more impressive with his leadership abilities as he led New South Wales to victory in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 in 2010. Having made a U-turn on his retirement from first-class cricket in 2013, Katich went on to captain his Big Bash League side Perth Scorchers to the title in 2014 before finally calling it quits.
Katich is presently serving as Operations Manager at Australian Football League club Western Sydney Giants, but the KKR hierarchy is confident that Katich will be an invaluable addition to the franchise considering his past experience of T20 cricket.
CEO & MD of KKR Venky Mysore said: “Katich is a great addition to ‘Team KKR’ I am sure his T20 experience, as well as his well-organised coaching skills, will come in handy for the KKR players.”Published 28 Oct 2015, 17:37 IST