IPL powerhouse Punjab Kings XI snap up former Hurricanes coach Damien Wright for bowling role - Australian Latest news
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IPL powerhouse Punjab Kings XI snap up former Hurricanes coach Damien Wright for bowling role

A former Tasmanian cricket coach who lost his role with the state team has been hired by one of biggest and most lucrative cricket franchises in the world as an elite bowling coach.

Damien Wright — the 45-year-old former coach of the Hobart Hurricanes, along with several other specialist roles with other teams in his career — has just signed on with Kings XI Punjab in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

Wright has been out of the professional coaching set-up for around three years and has returned in dramatic fashion, claiming one of the top bowling coaching roles in World Cricket. He is set to travel to India for a 12-week stint.

Wright will undoubtedly gain enormous exposure thanks to the tournament which, according to viewership data from Barc, reached 405 million television viewers in India alone last year.

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Wright, who is married and lives in Hobart with a young family, said in a statement that he was “delighted to be coming on board as bowling coach” with the Kings.

Wright enjoyed a 14-year playing career, having represented The Tigers, Australia A, Victoria and numerous counties along the way.

The end of his playing career made way for the start of an illustrious coaching career, having previously worked with the Hobart Hurricanes, Tasmania Tigers, New Zealand and the Melbourne Stars.

Wright experienced the cutthroat nature of professional sport in early 2017 when he lost his Hobart Hurricanes coaching role following an underwhelming BBL06.

More recently Wright had been working in Premier Cricket as the head coach of the University of Tasmania cricket club, home to current Australian Test captain Tim Paine and former Australian cricketer James Faulkner.

Big pay day expected

There will be numerous familiar faces for Wright in Punjab, with Tasmanian Riley Meredith on the list, as well as Australian representatives Jhye Richardson and Moses Henriques.

COVID-19 had reportedly seen Wright reject a coaching role in this year’s edition of the BBL.

Wright will have the opportunity to work alongside world-class coaches, including head coach Anil Kumble, assistant coach Andy Flower, batting coach Wasim Jaffer and fielding coach Jonty Rhodes.

Kumble was the first to give praise to Wright.

The Punjab Kings will begin their IPL campaign on April 12, however due to COVID-19 protocol Wright will depart Hobart on Friday.

While Wright’s remuneration is not known, the lowest paid head coach in last year’s competition of the IPL was paid around $360,000 for 12 weeks of coaching.

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