The Contracts of Mike Hesson and Sanjay Bangar Not Renewed
The contracts of Mike Hesson and Sanjay Bangar, director of cricket operations and head coach respectively, have not been renewed.
Franchise Looks to Overturn Disappointing IPL 2023
Andy Flower has been appointed head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore as the franchise looks to overturn a disappointing IPL 2023, where they failed to make the playoffs for the first time in four seasons. The exact duration of the contract has not been made public. At RCB, Flower will reunite with Faf du Plessis, the captain, who he worked with earlier during his time with St Lucia Kings in the CPL.
Flower Takes Over from Hesson and Bangar
Flower takes over from Mike Hesson and Sanjay Bangar, the franchise’s director of cricket and head coach respectively till last season. As reported by ESPNcricinfo in July, the contracts for Hesson and Bangar were not renewed. “I recognise the work put in by Mike Hesson and Sanjay Bangar, who are two coaches I respect,” Flower said in an RCB statement. “I’m particularly excited to be reunited with Faf. We have worked very well together in the past and I look forward to forging our partnership and relationship into something bigger and better.”
Flower’s Impressive Coaching Background
Till the end of the last IPL season, Flower was head coach of Lucknow Super Giants and was subsequently believed to have been in talks with Rajasthan Royals for a similar role. Under Flower, Super Giants made back-to-back playoffs in their first two years in the IPL. In July, he was replaced by Justin Langer, the former Australia coach. Prior to his stints with LSG, Flower had been associated with Punjab Kings in the IPL. Flower comes on board with a decorated CV. A T20 World Cup-winning coach with England in 2010, the former Zimbabwe captain has also coached teams to titles at the PSL (Multan Sultans), ILT20 (Gulf Giants), and the men’s Hundred (Trent Rockets). With Flower in charge, St Lucia Kings reached CPL final twice. Most recently, he worked with Australia as a consultant during the men’s Ashes.
Changes in Coaching Staff Underway
Hesson had stepped into the role in similar circumstances as Flower in 2019, after RCB chose not to renew their contracts with Gary Kirsten, Ashish Nehra and Vikram Solanki following a last-place finish that season. Overall, Hesson led the team to three successive playoffs before the team fell away in their final must-win league game this year against Gujarat Titans. Bangar came on board in 2022, after Simon Katich’s exit as head coach, upon Virat Kohli’s recommendation. As reported earlier, the RCB management was deliberating changes to its coaching staff with the contracts usually up for renewal around September. The franchise is believed to have been keen to give Flower enough runway leading into the auction.
Unclear if Flower Will Bring New Specialist Coaches
For now, it’s unclear if Flower will have the chance to bring his own team of specialist coaches. RCB’s media statement made no mention of any other appointments. For the moment, Adam Griffiths is the bowling coach along with S Sriram and Malolan Rangarajan, who are assistant coach and fielding coach respectively.
New Appointments for RCB’s Women’s Team
Also on the cards are new appointments for RCB’s women’s team. Hesson had helmed that set-up at the inaugural Women’s Premier League season, where they finished fifth out of six teams. Three-time IPL finalists, RCB have never won the tournament. They last had a shot at the title in 2016 when they were pipped by Sunrisers Hyderabad in a close finish.