IPL 2021: Simon Katich steps down as RCB coach, cites personal reasons

Simon Katich has stepped down as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) coach ahead of the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which gets underway from September 19 in the UAE.

Simon Katich has stepped down as RCB coach. Mike Hesson will take his place.   -  Special Arrangement

Simon Katich has stepped down as head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore, the club announced at a press conference on Saturday. Mike Hesson, the club’s Director of Cricket Operations, will double up as the head coach for the upcoming second leg of the Indian Premier League as per RCB’s “business continuity plan.”

“Simon Katich, the head coach of the RCB, has decided to step down. It’s mainly due to personal reasons. We, as management, completely support his decision and back him on this,” Rajesh Menon, vice-president and head, RCB, said.

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“We would like to thank Simon Katich for his work during his time at RCB and wish him all success in the future. In RCB, we always have a business continuity plan, and as per the business continuity plan, Mike Hesson will step in and discharge the duties of head coach until the end of this tournament,” he said.

“We all know: Mike Hesson has been coaching the New Zealand cricket team and other cricket teams for the last 15-20 years. So Mike will be stepping into this position till the end of this tournament, and he will also be holding the existing role of Director of Cricket Operations.”

Katich, a former Australia batsman, had been appointed head coach of the RCB in August 2019. Under him, RCB finished fourth in IPL 2020 and maintained the third spot during the first leg of IPL 2021.

Looking ahead to his new role with the team, Hesson said, “I’m very fortunate that we have a very experienced coaching group. My role will be working with those guys and the work has already started. Obviously, there’s a slight change in role. The playing days and training days are a little more hands on. And I’m looking forward to that. But I’m looking forward to everybody in the coaching group making their contribution and us working together. I know the support staff really well, and I’m excited to get stuck into it. There will be challenges, but that’s exciting.”

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