I am not an Ashes traitor: Buchanan

June 1st, 2009 - 3:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 1 (IANS) Former Australian coach John Buchanan last night denied suggestions he had sold out Australian cricket by meeting English officials last week.
London’s Sunday Telegraph reported that Buchanan had met the English hierarchy and members of their coaching panel to help plot their strategy for next month’s Ashes series.

But Buchanan, while defending his right to act as a coaching consultant, denied his talks involved leaking information for Ashes game plans.

“I did meet with them but we did not discuss their Ashes strategy,” Buchanan said Sunday night.

“We mainly talked about the Twenty20 game and the development of their Centre of Excellence. It was basically a continuation of the work I had done (earlier this year) when I spoke to the English Lions team in New Zealand.”

Buchanan felt he had nothing to apologise for, given that coaching had become a global profession and Australian coaches were in demand.

“We have seen that with Eddie Jones in rugby union and also with Wayne Bennett in rugby league,” Buchanan said.

After resigning as Australian coach Jones helped South Africa win the last rugby union World Cup while former Australian rugby league coach Bennett last year helped guide New Zealand to a stunning World Cup final triumph against the Australians in Brisbane.

Buchanan is free to link with England because he has no formal contract with Cricket Australia (CA). The main issue was a moral one about whether he feels comfortable about releasing secrets obtained during his eight-year stint with the Australian side.

Though the Australian side has changed greatly since Buchanan left after the 2007 World Cup, many key players from his era - such as Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey and Brett Lee - will play in this Ashes series.

Buchanan, who has just finished a coaching stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, was used by a recruitment company to help identify the necessary qualities for the England coaching job recently filled by Andy Flower.

Australian cricket coaches are highly regarded around the cricket world with John Dyson mentoring the West Indies, Trevor Bayliss guiding Sri Lanka and Greg Chappell (India) and Geoff Lawson (Pakistan) recently completing stints in the subcontinent.

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