Indian Premier League team Sahara Pune Warriors on Monday announced former Australian opener Geoff Marsh as their head coach while ex-England all-rounder Dermot Reeve will be the assistant coach.
Announcing the two coaches, team owner and Sahara India Pariwar chairman Subrata Roy said players from Uttar Pradesh would be given priority while choosing the squad for his side which would make its debut next year.
"For any team, coaches are the most important part and we are delighted to have Australian opener Geoff Marsh as head coach of Sahara Pune Warriors and former Englan all-rounder Dermot Reeve as his deputy," Roy told reporters.
Marsh, a right-handed batsman, played 50 Tests for Australia between 1985 and 1992, besides featuring in 117 ODIs from 1986 to 1992. He was the coach of the 1999 World Cup-winning Australian side.
He was also Zimbabwe coach between 2001 and 2004.
Reeve, on the other hand, played three Tests in 1992 besides also featuring in 29 ODIs between 1991 and 1996. He served as Twenty20 bowling coach for New Zealand in 2008.
Asked why the team opted for foreign coaches instead of roping in Indians, Roy said that the appointment was based on the basis of past achievement as player and coach.
"It is not so that we didn't have Indian coaches, but cricket is for the whole world and not for one country. There are coaches, but they have been selected in the interest of the team," he said.
He said that the Sahara Pune Warriors had looked into the credentials of eight coaches, including two Indians, before finalising the two.
"We sat with eight coaches of whom two were Indians, but selection was based on the merit, background of the coaches, their achievements as a players and coach and their coaching abilities," he said.
"I am hopeful that they are really going to contribute for us," he added.
Roy said players from Uttar Pradesh will get priority while selecting the squad.
"There are very good players in the state which has given very good cricketers. We have very promising youngsters. As more than 35 players are to be selected in the team, players from UP will definitely get priority and special consideration would be given to them," he said.