TNPL team Kovai Kings retains Klusener as coach

The Kings are eager to continue with the same set-up as last year - they also retained TN players Murali Vijay, Vijay Shankar and Syed Mohammed - after it reached the last four stages of the tournament.

Lance Klusener will remain as head coach for TNPL team Kovai Kings for the second season. (file image)   -  The Hindu

Former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener will coach Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) team Lyca Kovai Kings in the tournament’s second edition to be played later this year.

Confirming the appointment, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lyca Sports (which owns Kovai Kings), Raju Mahalingam said that the team had done well in the inaugural edition and “we wanted to continue with the same set-up.”

“The team under Klusener did well and reached the last four. He brings a lot to the table with his experience. The players learnt a lot from the South African legend and we hope he will continue to motivate them,” he said.

“Overall, the Kings played well and won a lot of matches and lost some close ones. We hope Klusener can guide us to a triumph this time,” Mahalingam said.

Klusener would be linking up with the team in the first week of July, he said, adding there were plans to hold a pre-season camp in Chennai.

He also said the team had decided to retain former Tamil Nadu batsmen C Hemant Kumar and R Prasanna among the support staff.

The 45-year-old Klusener, who played 49 Tests and 171 ODIs for South Africa, would be the second top international cricketer to be associated with a TNPL side after the VB Thiruvallur Veerans recently roped in Sri Lanka’s legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan as mentor.

Lyca’s head of marketing Nishanthan said “Klusener was a positive influence on the team in TNPL-1 and the boys learnt a lot from him. It is hoped that the fruitful partnership continues.”

“Lance (Klusener) is also excited to be associated with the Kovai Kings and has said he had a great time during the maiden TNPL,” Nishanthan said.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu’s ODI and T20 team captain Vijay Shankar, who was part of the team but couldn’t play owing to injury last year, said, “Klusener returning as the Kings’ coach is very good for the squad. He is a great motivator.”

“I got to interact with him during the first edition of TNPL and he asked me to take care of my physique. I am looking forward to working with him this time,” he added.

Kovai Kings has retained India Test opener Murali Vijay, Vijay Shankar and J Syed Mohammed, among others, from those who played in season one.

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