A combative allrounder, Duncan Fletcher became Zimbabwe’s first ODI captain in the early 1980s during the pre-Test era. In 1983, he led the team from the front to a famous victory over Australia; winning the Man Of The Match Award for his performance. Fletcher also took Zimbabwe to ICC victory in 1982. The Zimbabwean ODI international captain retired without ever playing a Test match.
Duncan Fletcher had a career in Systems Management, and at the age of 45, his main claim to fame was having devised Zimbabwe’s car registration system.
In his late 40s, Fletcher was gradually making a transition into coaching. He took charge of Western Province and Glamorgan, winning trophies along the way. In 1999 he became the first foreigner to coach England, and also the first non-Test player.The England Cricket Board turned to him when they were in shumbles, they were at the bottom of the Test table. He won widespread respect of the people having steered England from the bottom to third in the Test tables, with a team captained by Nasser Hussain back then.
In 2003, with a new captain in Michael Vaughn, England drew against South Africa and lost to Sri Lanka. Fletcher helped mastermind series wins away to West Indies (first in 36 years) then a repeat win at home after whitewashing New Zealand. The unattractive side of Fletcher’s resume was England’s ODI form which was going backwards as Test form was going up. After defeating South Africa 2-1 in a series that deserved more epic status than it received, he took a much prepared England side to the 2005 Ashes series.
The Ashes returned to England in 2005 after 18 years and Fletcher was feted along with the rest of the squad in transforming English cricket. He was awarded an OBE in the honors list and his team looked on course to chase the number one position on the Test table.
Outside the draw against India and a 3-0 victory over Pakistani, results started going downhill for England. Duncan Fletcher began facing a lot of criticism, the 5-0 whitewash was a very low point and it just added more criticism. Some said he was showing too much faith in people with no form, players with little cricket behind them.
The man who had done more than most to transform the game’s fortunes faced his major crisis, but typically he rode out out of the storm and his fortunes were looking up when England won the CB series one-day trophy. Under Fletcher, it was England’s Test form that rose whilst the ODI form was going downhill; ironically, Fletcher’s only major success in ODI came a mere three months before his exit. On 19 April 2007, he resigned after a disappointing World Cup campaign and certainly needed to look for new challenges. The consensus seemed to be the he would be remembered as an excellent coach, but one that stayed too long. On April 27, 2011 he was appointed as India’s coach succeeding Gary Kirsten.