Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cricket-Australia's Buchanan joins IPL as Kolkata coach

Former Australia coach John Buchanan will link up with old adversary Saurav Ganguly after signing up with the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday.

Buchanan, who guided Australia to two World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007 before stepping down in April last year, was unveiled as coach of the Ganguly-led Kolkata in the eight-team franchise Twenty20 league due to start on April 18.

Ganguly dealt Buchanan's Australia a surprise defeat when he captained India to a memorable comeback test series win in 2001.

Each team franchise was sold for millions of dollars. The "Kolkata Knight Riders" were bought for $75.09 million by a consortium that includes Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.

Young Indian paceman Ishant Sharma ($950,000), West Indies opener Chris Gayle ($800,000) and New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum ($700,000) were among the main picks by the team at a high-profile auction last month which saw 75 players snapped up.

Another 18 players were added in a second and final auction on Tuesday.

"It's a good opportunity for the Indian players and young aspirants to work and gain experience from world's top players,"
Buchanan said.

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