Chennai Super Kings have announced Eric Simons as a bowling consultant ahead of the 2018 VIVO Indian Premier League season.
The former South African international cricketer will join CSK’s experienced coaching staff comprising Head Coach Stephen Fleming, batting coach Michael Hussey and bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji.
“CSK have always carried an aura of success and confidence which makes it a great privilege to be a part of the franchise and to be a part of the inner workings of such a successful team,” the former India bowling coach said about his appointment.
“In every IPL tournament, CSK are seen as one of the teams to beat. CSK have been pace setters in many ways but particularly in the way they have set up their team balance and always maintained a great consistency in squad selection. One always sensed that the team (members) were proud to represent CSK,” added Simons, who has previously coached in the IPL.
“CSK have put a fantastic group of coaches together and I grabbed with both hands the opportunity presented to me to be a part of the team. As MS (Dhoni) defines the players at CSK, so Fleming is the constant that defines the coaches. He is a shrewd operator and with MS has forged the formidable partnership that has brought CSK the success that they have achieved,” the 55-year-old stated.
Simons further hailed Dhoni’s contribution in the growth of CSK into a much-decorated franchise.
“No other IPL franchise has been defined by an individual in the manner in which MS defines CSK. His record as a player and as a captain across many years is there for all to see. MS is not someone that follows others but is someone who looks for his own path,” the Cape Town-born said.
“It has been a privilege and a learning experience to have worked with him in many situations, first with the Indian team, then at RPS and now with CSK,” he concluded.
KS Viswanathan, CEO, Chennai Super Kings, said Simons’ presence will be of immense help to the side.
“Eric has tremendous experience of working with both Indian and overseas bowlers. Combined with Balaji’s knowledge and experience of Indian conditions, I’m sure that the bowling department will benefit a lot,” Viswanathan stated.
The Lions won the IPL twice, finished runners-up on four occasions and qualified to the Playoffs in every season between 2008 and 2015 to emerge as one of the most successful franchises in the opening decade of the competition.
The Chennai franchisee, that made a comeback after facing a two-year ban, will take on defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, April 7, in the opening game of the 2018 VIVO Indian Premier League.