Former South African all-rounder Lance Klusener is set to join Tripura as a consultant for the upcoming domestic cricket season. Klusener, known for his illustrious career as a player and subsequent coaching roles, will be working with all the teams in Tripura and not just limited to the Ranji Trophy squad. His arrival in Agartala is scheduled for Saturday, and he will spend a total of 100 days with the team during the season.
The decision to bring in Klusener came after Tripura Cricket Association advertised the coaching position on their website. Alongside Klusener, former Sri Lankan coach Dav Whatmore also applied for the role but later withdrew due to personal reasons. However, Klusener expressed his keenness to take up the opportunity, leading to his appointment as the consultant for Tripura.
Having been part of the South African team that reached the final of the 1999 ODI World Cup, Klusener brings a wealth of experience to his new role. Following his retirement from international cricket, he has worked with various teams and franchises, including Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and a franchise in the Tamil Nadu Premier League.
Timir Chanda, the Vice-president of Tripura Cricket Association, highlighted the significant impact that Klusener’s experience will have on the local cricketers. He expressed pride in having someone of Klusener’s stature join as a consultant, emphasizing the positive influence it will have on the team.
Klusener’s manager, Kaustuv Lahiri, confirmed the development and stated that the former all-rounder has agreed to work with the Tripura team for a total of 100 days. His engagement will commence with a 20-day camp in Agartala, followed by subsequent visits. Klusener, who represented South Africa in 49 Tests and 171 ODIs between 1996 and 2004, is scheduled to arrive in Kolkata on Friday before traveling to Agartala the next day.
During his visit, Klusener is expected to meet with Wriddhiman Saha, an Indian international cricketer who captained Tripura in the previous season and has renewed his contract for the upcoming season. Chanda mentioned that Tripura has already re-signed Saha and Sudip Chatterjee for the forthcoming season. The association will also discuss the appointment of a coach who will closely work with Klusener, taking into account the input of Saha and other stakeholders.
In the previous season, Tripura finished sixth in the Elite Group D with 11 points from seven matches. The addition of Lance Klusener as a consultant brings renewed hope and optimism to the team, as they aim to improve their performance and make significant strides in the upcoming domestic season.