Mitchell McClenaghan, the former Mumbai Indians (MI) player who clinched four Indian Premier League (IPL) titles with the franchise, has been named as the bowling coach for MI Emirates, the team’s affiliate in the upcoming second season of the International League T20 (ILT20). This marks McClenaghan’s first major coaching role since retiring from professional cricket in 2021 after representing New Zealand in 48 ODIs and 29 T20Is, where he claimed 82 and 30 wickets, respectively.
McClenaghan’s appointment comes as a significant addition to MI Emirates’ coaching staff, as the team prepares for the ILT20 2024 season, commencing on January 19. He will be working under the guidance of Robin Singh, who transitioned from his previous role as MI Emirates’ general manager to head coach for the upcoming season. Singh, who previously served as the coach of the UAE men’s team, replaces Shane Bond, who has left the Mumbai Indians’ global network to take charge of the Paarl Royals in the SA20.
Joining McClenaghan and Singh in MI Emirates’ backroom staff is Ajay Jadeja, the former Indian cricketer who played a mentoring role for Afghanistan during the 2023 World Cup. Jadeja has been appointed as the team’s batting coach. Additionally, Vinay Kumar will continue as the assistant coach, while James Franklin retains his position as the fielding coach, both carrying on from the ILT20’s inaugural season.
MI Emirates recently announced Nicholas Pooran as their captain for the upcoming season, following his stint with Durban’s Super Giants in the SA20. However, they will miss the leadership of Kieron Pollard, who led them to a third-placed finish last season but has since taken over the captaincy of MI Cape Town due to an injury to Rashid Khan.
In preparation for the new season, several other ILT20 franchises have undergone coaching changes. Johan Botha has replaced Paul Farbrace as the coach of the Sharjah Warriors, with JP Duminy joining as his assistant. Tom Kohler-Cadmore has taken over the captaincy from Moeen Ali at the same franchise. Hemang Badani has assumed the coaching role at Dubai Capitals, succeeding Phil Simmons. Andy Flower and James Foster continue in their roles as coaches of Gulf Giants and Desert Vipers, respectively. The coaching position for Abu Dhabi Knight Riders for the 2024 season is yet to be announced.
Mitchell McClenaghan’s appointment as the bowling coach for MI Emirates adds significant experience to the team’s coaching setup ahead of the ILT20 2024 season. With a blend of seasoned veterans and new faces in coaching roles across various franchises, the upcoming season promises to be an exciting chapter in the ILT20’s journey.