I am deeply hurt, says Prasad over sack through email

By Anand Philar, IANS,

Chennai : The Indian Cricket board terminated its contract with Venkatesh Prasad as the bowling coach via an email sent to him Thursday morning and the 40-year old former India fast bowler said he was “disappointed and deeply hurt” by it.

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A terse statement from BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan said the board had terminated the services of Prasad and Robin Singh, the fielding coach, with immediate effect. No reasons were provided.

Speaking to IANS from his hometown Bangalore, Prasad, who represented India in 33 Tests and 161 ODIs over seven seasons, said: “Yes, I received an email at about half-past eleven this morning, but I haven’t really gone through that. Of course, I am very disappointed. At this moment, I wish the Indian team every success in the coming series against Australia.”

Interestingly, the Chennai Super Kings, managed by India Cements that board secretary Srinivasan heads, had hired Prasad as the bowling coach for the 2009 Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament.

When asked whether the termination of his services was directly linked to the recent poor performances of Ishant Sharma, the current Indian spearhead, Prasad said: “Ishant is a fantastic prospect. I am sure he will bounce back. He is very hard working young man.”

Some suspected that 21-year-old Ishant was struggling under non-stop cricket and consequent heavy workload besides huge expectations following his meteoric rise since his international debut two seasons ago.

Prasad said: “These days, all the cricketers are professionals and they have to learn to manage. Like I said earlier, Ishant is a great prospect.”

On the role of the coaching staff in nurturing young fast bowling talent like Ishant by way of being selective of tournaments and series to be played in, Prasad said: “There has to be a good communication between the coaching staff and the national selectors. I think, communication is the key to success.”

Besides the communication, he felt that the authorities needed to give sufficient weightage to the opinions and views of the coaching staff on matters relating to the players.

“I don’t want to continue speaking on this. Please excuse me,” he said while declining to comment anything more on whether there was effective communication between the coaching staff and the national selectors on player fitness levels, be it physical or mental.