The Indian Premier League (IPL) since its inception in 2008, has been a boon not only for the Indian players but also the overseas cricketers. A separate window has been created for the IPL to take place as most of the countries do not schedule their bilateral series during the tournament. It is considered the best league for the same reasons as all the top players from all the major Test playing nations are available for the whole season.
Over the years, a lot of legendary players have also played for the IPL teams and the franchises have smartly not let them go even after the retirement. Rather these players have ended up taking the head coach job for the same team played in the T20 extravaganza. Here we bring you five such players who played and coached the same team in the IPL.
Five cricketers who played and coached the same IPL team:
1. Stephen Fleming (Chennai Super Kings)
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) secured Stephen Fleming’s services in the inaugural season of the IPL. The southpaw went on to play 10 matches for the franchise scoring 196 runs at a strike-rate of 118.79 and played the last match of his IPL career in 2009 against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
During the same edition, he was appointed as the coach of the team and Fleming retired as the player. Ever since then, the franchise hasn’t required the services of any other coach. They are the only team to stick to the same captain (MS Dhoni) and the coach over all these years. The Dhoni-Fleming combination has worked wonders for the Men in Yellow as they have won three trophies so and are the second successful team in the league.
The CSK has also managed to qualify for the playoffs/knockouts in all the seasons they’ve played in the IPL. They were banned for two years in 2016 and 2017 but when the franchise returned in 2018, CSK retained Fleming as the head coach and they won the 2018 edition in style.
2. Ricky Ponting (Mumbai Indians)
Ricky Ponting’s IPL career as a player was forgettable. He featured for two franchises, KKR and Mumbai Indians (MI), in the tournament but only played 10 matches mustering a mere 91 runs at a strike-rate of 71.9, Clearly, he struggled to score runs in the shortest format of the game.
However, the MI team management made sure that they used his smart cricketing mind. The franchise appointed him the head coach of the team ahead of the 2015 season. And the man infused his winning mentality in the team perfectly as MI won its second title in three years under Rohit Sharma‘s leadership.
It was Ricky Ponting who had stepped down mid-way through the 2013 season and handed over the team’s mantle to Rohit. However, the team couldn’t replicate the feat in the following season and MI replaced him with Mahela Jayawardene at the helm. The former Australia skipper is currently the head coach of the Delhi Capitals and is yet to win the title with them.
3. Daniel Vettori (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Daniel Vettori featured for the Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL. The latter side picked him in the team in 2011 and the left-arm spinner played for them until the end of 2012 season. Vettori was rather made captain before Virat Kohli was handed over the captaincy in the 2013 edition.
RCB, however, roped in Daniel Vettori as the head coach in 2014 and the Kiwi cricketer went on to do the job until 2018 season. The team qualified for the final only once during this period, in 2016 when Kohli was in the purple patch. However, the team’s performance went down considerably in the 2017 and 2018 which led to RCB replacing Vettori with Gary Kirsten.
Vettori, in his IPL career, went on to play 34 matches picking 28 wickets. His miserly economy of 6.79 is considered one of the best in the competition. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make a similar impact while being the coach of the team.
4. Jacques Kallis (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Not many backed Jacques Kallis to come good in the T20 format. However, the fact that he went on to play 98 matches in the IPL while featuring for the RCB and KKR proves all the critics wrong. He amassed 2427 scoring as many 12 17 half-centuries in the Indian T20 league and also scalped 65 wickets before ending his IPL career by winning the tournament in 2014.
After the 2015 season, he was named the head coach of the team after Trevor Bayliss was appointed the head coach of England who had crashed out of the World Cup in Australia. KKR made it to the playoffs in 2016 in Kallis’ maiden year as the coach. However, the team couldn’t perform to the potential in the following editions.
Eventually, after the 2019 editions when the franchise failed to make it to the top four again, Kallis decided to vacate the position.
5. Brendon McCullum (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Brendon McCullum was the reason why the IPL got off to a prolific start in 2008. His unbeaten 158-run knock in the opening game of the inaugural set the benchmark for the tournament and even after 12 editions of the cash-rich league, the innings remains one of the best ever in the format. He played for the teams like CSK, RCB, Kochi Tuskers and the Gujarat Lions apart from the KKR before calling time on his IPL career in 2018.
McCullum played 109 matches in the league smacking 2880 runs with the help of 13 half-centuries and a couple of tons to his name. His strike-rate of close to 132 proves how destructive and consistent he was with his batting.
The KKR approached him after Kallis stepped down last year and McCullum was named the head coach of the team for the 2020 season. The team fared decently at the auction as well under his watchful eyes and the man was looking forward to the upcoming edition only for it to get postponed due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The former New Zealand skipper will be keen to prove his mettle in the new role as well.
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