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Stephen Fleming appointed as Chief Coach of Pune franchise in IPL

894   //    11 Jan 2016, 14:43 IST
Stephen Fleming also coaches the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League

Stephen Fleming has just been appointed as the Chief Coach of the Pune franchise of IPL. Mr. Sanjiv Goenka of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, the owner of the Pune franchise of IPL made the announcement just now.

He said, “I warmly welcome Stephen Fleming as the Chief Coach. He has been remarkably successful as a player in the international arena and I firmly believe that his technical knowhow, perseverance and organization skills will work wonders for our team. I have tremendous faith in his leadership ability and believe that it would have a positive impact on our team members.”

Stephen Fleming has captained the New Zealand national cricket team and is New Zealand's second most capped Test player with 111 test appearances. He had played for the Chennai Super Kings in the 2008 edition of the IPL. In 2009, he was appointed as the coach of Chennai Super Kings and was retired as a player from the team. Fleming was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours, for his services to cricket.

Fleming's future as a coach was in a limbo after the suspension of the Chennai Super Kings. With owner Gurunath Meiyappan being found guilty of betting on the matches, the players and coaching staff had to bear the infamy as well.

Fleming had at that time said, "The franchise's message was, they were prepared for a punishment, but they are little surprised by the severity. I'm still contracted but it is a case of wait and see. There is so much to happen over the next few days, weeks, maybe even months. I don't know how the franchise will respond and what options they will have to respond with. If the franchise waits out two years, does it include me or not. I don't know. Just like the players, I am in limbo.” 

However, with the cancellation of all the contracts associated with both Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals after the suspension of the two franchises for two years, Fleming was free and the Pune franchise did not waste any time in securing his signature. The former Kiwi skipper is also the coach of the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League.

The 9th season of the IPL will begin on 9th April. The Pune franchise of the IPL has selected names such as MS Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis and Steve Smith in the December draft. The IPL auction is expected to be held on the 6th of February. Pune last had a franchise in the IPL in 2013 when the Pune Warriors pulled out of the IPL.

According to Sahara, the withdrawal came on the heels of failed requests to the BCCI to reduce the franchise fees. There were five bidders for the two new team additions to the IPL for the coming season. Sanjiv Goenka paid roughly 16 crores for the team.

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