Dolphins jump to Zulu’s tune

2012-01-26 00:00

LANCE Klusener, one of KwaZulu-Natal’s favourite cricketing sons, has been appointed as the interim coach of the Dolphins for the rest of the season.

Klusener takes over from Graham Ford, who resigned last week, and will oversee the Dolphins’ domestic Twenty20 campaign, starting with the team’s first match set for February 19 in Pietermaritzburg, as well as their three remaining SuperSport Series matches.

The Dolphins’ job will be Klusener’s first as a head coach although he has completed a level-three coaching course through Cricket South Africa and is employed by the Indian Premier League team, the Mumbai Indians, in a coaching capacity.

Klusener, who delighted the Kingsmead crowd during his playing career with his devastating batting and aggressive bowling, said that the chance to mentor the current crop of Dolphins was a “privilege”, but he said he was well aware of the tough situation he finds himself in with the under-performing team.

The Dolphins are currently rooted to the bottom of the four-day SuperSport Series points table after failing to win any of their first seven matches.

“It’s a nice situation for me in that I’m quite at home, not only with the stadium, but with the support staff around me. Jumping into the middle of a season is tough, but coming into a situation with which I am pretty familiar will make things a lot easier,” the former all-rounder said.

Klusener took his first practice as head coach yesterday and it was noticeable how enthusiastic and eager the team was to work under his guidance.

The 40-year-old said that one of his first objectives was to try and instil some fighting spirit into the team.

“I would like to beef up the discipline in terms of how the players take on the responsibility of playing for the Dolphins. If we can do that, and bring the pride back when playing for the Dolphins, it will go a long way to not only producing good cricketers, but hopefully bringing people back to the stadium as well,” he explained.

Klusener’s short-term contract runs until the end of March whereupon the KZN Cricket Union will embark on a more thorough process to identify a full-time coach with Klusener being in the mix.

Jesse Chellan, the Dolphins’ chief executive, was naturally delighted at having got his man.

“We had quite a few applicants, and high quality applicants, who put their names forward … Lance was the preferred choice. One of the major concerns was leaving a vacuum within the team without a coach so for Lance to agree so quickly [to join the team] is fantastic,” said Chellan. — MWP Media.

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