Dipak Patel first ever full-time head coach for PNG
Cricket PNG has appointed Dipak Patel as the country's first full-time head coach.
The former New Zealand international Dipak Patel has been appointed the first full-time coach of the Papua New Guinea cricket team.
The 55-year-old says he only became aware of the vacancy in the past couple of weeks and is excited about the opportunity to work with professional, international players on a day to day basis.
Cricket PNG general manager, Greg Campbell, told Vinnie Wylie the move to full-time coach was borne out of a players review.
GREG CAMPBELL: We've had a couple of coaches before: one Andy Bichel [and] one Peter Anderson. They both did a magnificent job. They were sort of fly-in fly-out coaches but Dipak Patel will be full-time live-in, so he will be here every day with the boys, training with them and getting to know them a lot better and looking to take us further in the world of cricket so we're excited by Dipak and he's looking forward to the stint in PNG.
VINNIE WYLIE: Earlier this year the team earned One Day International status - is it that step-up in the world of cricket that's given you the financial muscle and the means to be able to do this?
GC: Oh yes of course that helps but also his experience in playing in that area and being involved in test cricket and internationals and his overall coaching experience. The players review was they thought they needed a coach live-in full-time so that's the area we're going to do and we're all looking forward to him joining us.
VW: What does that allow you and Dipak Patel to do that previously perhaps you couldn't?
GC: Just the day to day contact with the players. I know Peter Anderson did spent a bit of time here but he wasn't living in. He had three or four weeks in and out for three or four weeks whereas Dipak will have that constant communication with them and getting to know [them] and putting strength and conditioning programmes in place and also going through the changes with contracts so hopefully that can be sorted out in the next couple of weeks where they'll become full-time cricketers and just that day to day contact normally - not that we didn't have it before but it was always that break in proceedings where the coach was out for three or four weeks. Just the continuity of everything now. We're going to be on the road four of five months of the year so Dipak is going to jump head-first into a big pond and he's going to have to learn to swim pretty quickly but we've got no doubt that he can do that.
VW: And with one day international status, with a new full-time head coach and also with these contracts coming in for the players that does raise the expectations to take it that next couple of steps further.
GC: Exactly and Cricket PNG and the board and management and all the people that are involved in cricket know these guys have put some sacrifices on the line and we've always been talking about this years to come that they need to be rewarded and hopefully we can reward them that they can get into the top 14. That's our aim in the next two or three years to get another couple of places up that ladder where we become more secure. We don't want to, in four years time to, be looking at dropping out of the four-day or the ODI fixtures. We want to be a permanent fixture there so we're all about improving and if these guys can be more happier off the field and know their families and themselves are being looked after they become 100 percent committed to cricket and instead of worrying about all the little things off the field when they go away it will make a very exciting time up here.
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