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Monday, 24 March, 2003, 14:56 GMT

Wright looks for longer term

By Manak Gupta
BBC Hindi in Johannesburg

John Wright hopes to renew his contract as India coach but has yet to gain the nod from national cricket authorities.

New Zealander Wright became India's first foreign coach in November 2000, leading the side to their first World Cup final in 20 years.

Wright says India will improve

With Wright at the helm, India have won 46 of 80 one-day internationals and 18 of 31 Tests.

But his contract came to an end after Sunday's 125-run defeat to Australia in the final.

"I've enjoyed my role in the last two-and-a-quarter years," the former opening batsman said.

"It's been a tremendous experience - it's just a shame we couldn't pull it off [on Sunday]."

Wright has been mentioned as a possible successor to Kiwi coach Denis Aberhart, whose contract runs out later this year.

Meanwhile Kenya coach Sandeep Patil, a member of India's World Cup-winning side of 1983, is to return home to an as yet unspecified job with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

"I like the [India] job and I would like to keep working with the team but it's not my decision to make," Wright went on.

"I'll have to sit down and discuss it with the BCCI and see what happens."

Wright is convinced that a young side can only improve ahead of the next World Cup, to be held in the Caribbean in four years time.

"The boys have done well to get to the final - they have beaten every side apart from Australia and most were convincing victories," he said.

"They are young players, it was a very big game and at times things don't work out.

"But they have done their country and their fans proud."

Wright backed Sourav Ganguly's surprise decision to bat first having won the toss, although he stressed the responsibility for making the call rested with the captain.

"I think he got the decision right - there was a lot in the wicket," he said.

"Getting a breakthrough was the key and we didn't do that but the conditions were only going to get better."



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Related to this story:

Patil plans return home (12 Mar 03 |  World Cup )
Wright track leads home (23 Dec 02 |  India )



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