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Prabhakar for Mohinder as coach

May 12, 2005 20:26 IST

Former India all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar joined the ongoing debate on selection of the new India cricket coach, rooting for Mohinder Amarnath as his 'personal choice'.

Prabhakar also agreed with Australian cricketing legend Steve Waugh that the Indian team would benefit further if Javagal Srinath is roped in as bowling coach.

"India definitely needs a bowling coach. Because this is a department where the team is lacking. The bowlers need to be motivated not only on the field, but also off it. A bowling coach can help in enhancing the performance of the bowlers, and help them in bowling to their optimum potential," Prabhakar, in Kolkata on a business trip, said on Thursday.

Prabhakar said Srinath was the only Indian pacer after him and Kapil Dev to have had a long stint in top flight cricket.

"I will back him for his experience, fighting ability and knowledge of the game," he said.

Explaining the reasons for preferring Amarnath, he said, "His performance speaks for itself. Anybody can learn a lot under him, as I have. I consider him as my guru."

Prabhakar, serving a five-year ban from cricket since 2000 following the match-fixing scandal, said he is eagerly awaiting the end of his banishment from the game, in December.

"I want to prove myself again on the cricket field, if not as a player, then as a coach in helping talented youngsters."

Indicating his willingness to assist Indian bowlers once the ban is over, Prabhakar said, "If they come to me, I'll definitely talk to them. I'll try to help them."

Prabhakar, who scored 1600 runs in 39 Tests besides claiming 96 wickets, has opened a cricket academy in Greater Noida, with a branch at Faridabad.

Asked whether he still stands by the allegations he levelled against players like Kapil Dev during the match-fixing controversy, he replied: "I don't want to harp on the past. I did my bit in cleaning up the game. And I think I was successful.

"People know in their heart of hearts who was wrong and who was right. Not a single person has told me what I did was wrong," said Prabhakar.

The bowler, known for his proficiency in reverse swing, regretted that the art is fading in India.

"During my playing days, there were other bowlers also who could reverse swing the ball. But it's very rare these days.

"If a pacer cannot reverse swing, then he won't be able to deliver the goods with the old ball," he said.

Prabhakar described as 'harsh' the six-match ban slapped on India skipper Sourav Ganguly for the team's slow over-rate in the Ahmedabad ODI against Pakistan.

"Why should only the captain be hauled up? He is not the only culprit if the team bowls slowly. This is not fair."

He also expressed firm belief in Ganguly saying he would return to form soon enough.

"I know him since he was a youngster. He has always been mentally tough. The day he regains his confidence, Ganguly will come back into runs," he added.

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