ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Globetrotting coaches make World Cup impact
Most of the teams competing at the World Cup have travelled a long way to reach Australia and New Zealand but that`s nothing to the journeys made by some of their coaches.
Sydeny: Most of the teams competing at the World Cup have travelled a long way to reach Australia and New Zealand but that`s nothing to the journeys made by some of their coaches.
Unlike other team sports such as football and rugby, top-flight cricket came relatively late to the idea of side having a head coach.
Indeed, as far as former Australia captain Ian Chappell is concerned, a coach is something that transports players to the game.
But many sides are in no doubt about the positive impact a coach can make and have no qualms about going beyond their own borders to get the right man.
Take Dav Whatmore, now the coach of Zimbabwe.
Born in what was then Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, Whatmore emigrated to Australia as a child and played seven Tests for his adopted country.
But it was as a coach that Whatmore, 60, sealed his reputation in cricket, guiding Sri Lanka to the 1996 World Cup title.
From there his coaching career has included spells in English county cricket with Lancashire, several years as coach of Bangladesh and a stint in charge of Pakistan.
Pakistan was not the end of the road for the well-travelled Whatmore, who just six weeks before the World Cup started found himself the coach of Zimbabwe.
But according to Zimbabwe batsman Hamilton Masakadza, who top-scored for the side in their creditable first-up loss to South Africa at the World Cup, that has been time enough for Whatmore to have a positive influence upon the team.
"The coach has had a very big impact for us. He`s changed a couple of things and he`s really got the guys going in a certain direction, and that`s been working really well for us," Masakadza said.
It is perhaps no surprise that emerging cricket nations should have looked abroad for coaches who can help raise their game, with several of the non-Test sides taking part at the World Cup having a foreign influence.
Ireland, for example, have been coached by former West Indies batsman Phil Simmons for several years, while former New Zealand off-spinner Grant Bradburn, assisted by ex-England all-rounder Paul Collingwood, is in charge of Scotland.
Afghanistan, the Cinderella story of this World Cup, have former Warwickshire batsman Andy Moles at the helm while the United Arab Emirates can turn to former paceman Aaqib Javed, a member of the Pakistan side that won the 1992 World Cup.
But several established cricket nations have also opted for imported coaches.
Reigning world champions India have had several in recent times and lifted the trophy four years ago on home soil under former South Africa batsman Gary Kirsten.
Now they are coached by former Zimbabwe all-rounder Duncan Fletcher, who as a coach helped lift England out of a slump in the early 2000s, although, significantly, former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri was recently installed as team director.
Meanwhile South Africa, bidding for a first World Cup title, have added former Australia batsman Mike Hussey to their already extensive backroom staff.
"It`s just nice to have him around," said South Africa captain AB de Villiers.
"He`s a guy with great experience, won a World Cup before. He`s a great finisher and has handled pressure situations really well.
"He`s a really wonderful human being and that`s probably the main reason he`s fitted in so well."
But there was little Hussey could do, apart from utter admiring words in his other World Cup role of television commentator, as Shikhar Dhawan`s hundred led India to a 130-run win over South Africa at a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.