IPL is pretty brutal for coaches, says Brad Hodge

Having coached three times so far in IPL history, the Australian has had a first-hand experience of the unforgiving competitiveness of the tournament.

Brad Hodge

Brad Hodge speaks about mounting pressure on coaches to take their teams to the finish line. (File photo)   -  Getty Images

Brad Hodge, the former Australia cricketer, has said the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a cut-throat space for coaches.

“It is pretty brutal (for coaches) in this part of the world (IPL). If you do not make the finals here, you pretty much pack your bags and walk out [of] the door,” he said in ESPNcricinfo's Talking T20 podcast.

The 44-year-old played for Rajasthan Royals, Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Kolkata Knight Riders before switching to a coaching role. He then took on coaching responsibilities with Gujarat Lions and Kings XI Punjab.

Under him, Gujarat Lions made it to the playoffs of the tournament in 2016 but he couldn’t repeat the story with the team in the following edition.

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Hodge remained unsuccessful with Kings XI Punjab last year with the team finishing seventh on the points table. “Look, it is pretty cut-throat here actually... I sort of said to the Kings XI Punjab (owners), ‘How do you define success? What do you actually want to do?’ You haven’t won in 10 years, so if I’m not to win next year, how am I defined?,” he said.

Taking the examples of arch rivals Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, the two most successful sides in IPL history, Hodge underlined how a well-defined and long-term vision could work well. "How many times do you want to win [the IPL] in a decade? I thought three is realistic. It doesn't matter whether you win this year, next year or the year after. You could win three in a row in the mid-pack. Just that if you've won three in a decade... If you look at CSK, they've won three. Mumbai Indians, they've won three. They've got a successful 10 years."

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Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad have the two longest serving coaches in the IPL- Stephen Fleming (2009-2015, 2018 onwards) and Tom Moody (2013 to present). Rajasthan Royals' Paddy Upton and Kolkata Knight Riders' Jacques Kallis are the only other current head coaches who have been with their respective franchises for more than three seasons.

Hodge is not involved with any IPL team currently, however, he continues to coach St.Lucia Stars in the Caribbean Premier League.