Bevan out, in comes Deba as Ranji coach

Cuttack: Former Australian middle-order batsman Michael Bevan has stepped down as Orissa cricket chief coach paving the way for Debasis Mohanty to take over as state coach. The sudden development came two days after the dismal performance of Orissa cricket team in the recently concluded East Zone leg of Syed Mustaq Ali T20 meet at Jamshedpur in which the state could not qualify for the all-India T20 meet.

Orissa was thrashed by Bengal in the knock-out stage on Monday at Jamshedpur. Bevan left for his native in Australia on Thursday leaving a gloomy Orissa team in the midst of an important domestic season.

While Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) administrators claim that Bevan had to go for a pressing personal problem back home, his daughter reportedly was serious, sources did not rule the possibility Bevan having been shown the door for the state team`s Jamshedpur debacle.

Bevan`s hand-picked technical director H K Murali of Karnataka was also asked to put in his papers by the OCA mandarins which goes on to indicate that the cricket administrators of the State were not happy with him.

OCA on Thursday appointed former India speedster Mohanty as state coach for the forthcoming Ranji season.

"Since Michael Bevan asked for a three-week leave to attend his ailing daughter in Australia, we had to relieve him for the entire season and appoint Debashis Mohanty as the coach in his place," said OCA secretary Asirbad Behera adding that during these three weeks Orissa has three important matches on the cards.

He also admitted that the technical director Murali was asked to resign as his services were no more required in the absence of Bevan. "Murali was the choice of Bevan," Behera pointed out.

However, Bevan was not available for comment as he had already left for Australia. Bevan was appointed Orissa coach in January this year and his tenure was to end in February 2012.

"As per the terms agreed with him, we paid Bevan for the services he rendered till date," Behera said without disclosing the exact amount the OCA coughed to the former left-hand batsman of Australia, a Level-3 coach.