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Prasad, Robin retained; Rajput axed

March 19, 2008 20:53 IST

Contrary to speculation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Wednesday decided to retain fielding coach Robin Singh and bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad for the Test series against South Africa, commencing on March 26 in Chennai.

With Gary Kirsten taking over as full-time coach, assistant coach Lalchand Rajput, however, got no such favour and had to go.

BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said both Prasad and Robin, who toured Australia with the Indian team, have been retained for the time being and a decision regarding their future with the side will be taken after the end of the series.

"As of now we have retained both Robin Singh and (Venkatesh) Prasad till the series ends. Decision regarding extending their tenure with the team would be taken later," said Shah.

He, however, added that Rajput will not have any role to play in the Tests against the South Africa.

"Since Kirsten is now the new coach of the Indian team, I don't think he is needed," added Shah.

Prasad was recently named coach of the Bangalore team for the Indian Premier League (IPL) while Robin took over the coaching reins of the Hyderabad side, triggering speculation about their association with the Indian team.

Though both stay for the series against South Africa, Shah dismissed a dual role for the duo in future.

"I don't think that they can perform a dual role. If they are employed by an organisation, unless they get a go-ahead (from the franchise), they just cannot do that," he said.

He also announced that Paddy Upton will join the squad as physical and mental conditioning coach, while Paul Close will come on board as the new physiotherapist for the series.

A new full-time physiotherapist will be appointed by the end of next month.

The team's support staff:

Physical and mental conditioning coach & Strategic Leadership Coach: Paddy Upton.

Physiotherapist: Paul Close

Bowling coach: Venkatesh Prasad

Fielding coach: Robin Singh

Travel assistant: Russell Radhakrishnan

Masseur: Ramesh Mane.

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