Laxman approached me for India job: Hussey

Since his retirement in 2013, Michael Hussey has worked in various consulting roles with the South Africa team at last year’s ODI World Cup, and is all set to assist Darren Lehmann’s Australian squad at the upcoming World T20.

Former Australian batsman Michael Hussey.   -  K. Pichumani

Michael Hussey was approached by former India batsman V. V. S. Laxman for the post of the Indian team’s head coach, the ex-Australian cricketer has revealed in his latest book.

Laxman had approached Hussey during the last IPL, barely a month before the Indian cricketer was inducted by the BCCI into its three-member advisory panel that was assigned with finding India’s head coach in the place of Duncan Fletcher, who departed following the 2015 World Cup.

“The former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene rang me a while ago to ask if I would be interested in being an assistant coach of Sri Lanka with a view to taking over as head coach a few months further down the track,” Hussey wrote in Winning Edge, his third book that was released recently.

“A week later the ex-India batsman V. V. S. Laxman asked me if I would be interested in coaching India. My initial answer to both of them was no because at the time I did not want to be on the road 10 months a year; I wanted to be at home with my family and make up for some lost time from the previous few years. But, probably more relative to them, I said to each that I did not think I was ready to become the head coach of an international cricket team,” he added.

Since Fletcher’s exit, former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri has played the caretaker’s role in his position as team director. The term of Shastri, who took over as the team director in August 2014, along with the trio of assistant coaches — Sanjay Bangar (batting), Bharat Arun (bowling) and R. Sridhar (fielding) — will expire after the World Twenty20.

Since his retirement in 2013, Hussey has worked in various consulting roles with the South Africa team at last year’s ODI World Cup, and is all set to assist Darren Lehmann’s Australian squad at the upcoming World T20.

Hussey said while he told Laxman that he was willing to start only as an assistant coach, the Indian cricketer felt he was highly capable of coaching an international team.

“VVS accepted that I was not interested because of family reasons. But he would not accept my feeling that I was not up to standard for a job like that. ‘You have played the game very well for a long time, you know what needs to be done, you shouldn’t doubt yourself',” Hussey wrote in his book.

“I replied that coaching individuals within a team is one thing and perhaps I could do that right now. But, I said, these days coaching is not just about coaching players. It’s about dealing with boards, sponsors, business owners, investors, officials, all sorts of people outside the team environment. It’s a very complex job that requires numerous skills that have little or nothing to do with cricket,” he further revealed.

Hussey pointed out that Laxman had disagreed with him again, saying that “guys with our level of experience had more understanding of the ins and outs of the game than just about anyone.”

“It got me thinking that maybe you do not need to go off and do all sorts of courses and tick all the official boxes. Maybe just having played for so long ingrains in a long-serving former player the knowledge required to take on all that is necessary to be a good coach,” Hussey wrote.

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