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Fletcher extends deal as India coach

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Duncan Fletcher will remain in charge of the India team till April 2014 © AFP
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Duncan Fletcher has been handed a one-year extension as India coach. He had taken over after India's World Cup win in April 2011, signing a two-year contract. Trevor Penney, who joined as the fielding coach in May 2011, also gets a new one-year deal.

The decision to keep Fletcher in charge was taken at the BCCI's working committee meeting in Mumbai. India's engagements over the next year including a challenging tour of current No. 1 South Africa, a tour of New Zealand, the Champions Trophy in England and the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

"The board has decided to extend his contract," BCCI president N Srinivasan told reporters after the meeting. "But we have to discuss the terms. I can't tell you the deliberations of the board. All I can tell you is what is the decision. We have decided to extend it."

Fletcher's extension had a lot to do with continuity during the team's re-building phase, a board insider said: "He knows all the youngsters, including the fringe players, very well by now, so it was important to keep the same bond going for a developing side. The fact that virtually every youngster respects him a lot also played a part."

It hasn't been a smooth ride with India for Fletcher. When he was appointed India were at the top of the Test rankings, but they quickly slid down the charts after comprehensive defeats on tours of England and Australia. There were home victories against relatively lightweight opposition in West Indies and New Zealand, but the pressure increased in late 2012 after England won their first series in India since 1984-85.

India have fared better in the one-day format, winning five bilateral series under Fletcher and are currently ranked No. 1. However, they recently lost a high-profile ODI series against Pakistan at home.

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