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Le Roux's exit a shock, but boys
will carry on: John Wright
June 10, 2003 14:51 IST
Admitting that Adrian Le Roux's departure has come as a shock to the Indian cricket team, coach John Wright on Tuesday said his boys were 'resilient enough' to carry on without the South African trainer who had made an 'invaluable' contribution to raise the team's fitness level.
"It has come as a surprise. However, he has made a decision as a professional and we can only respect his judgement," Wright said from Bangalore where he is assisting the England-bound India 'A' team.
"He has left a schedule for Indian players to follow and I am sure everyone will try to live up to it," Wright said.
Wright agreed Le Roux was of invaluable help to his players in terms of offering fitness expertise, spending quality time in the gym, monitoring their progress and keeping an eye on their diet.
"He blended so well with the team and its structure and contributed immensely to the boys' fitness. He took immense pains and spent time with individuals to improve their mental and physical toughness," he said.
"If a cricketer can physically withstand the workload, he gets mentally tougher which is a help not only to him but also to the team," said Wright.
The coach revealed that Le Roux had shared his plans to shift his allegiance to the UCBSA in a telephonic chat on Friday.
"I can safely say that we all, including the boys, will miss him. One could only wish him good luck," he said.
The players now face the prospect of submitting themselves to a new trainer who would take some time to get himself acquainted with them and their fitness levels.
However, Wright was typically optimistic.
"I am sure in due course of time we will find a replacement who can fit into Le Roux's shoes and help the team similarly. But we all realise a trainer is an important part within a team."
Incidentally, contrary to the Board of Control for Cricket in India's claims, there was no formal legal contract with the South African trainer after the Indian team returned from the 2003 World Cup where it finished runners-up to Australia.
Le Roux has now entered into a two-year contract with the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) to be the fitness trainer of its national team and would leave with the squad for its England tour on June 16.