Shipperd likely to win a contract with Delhi
Victoria's championship-winning Twenty20 side now has two players signed up with the Indian Premier League, while coach Greg Shipperd is expected to be signed within the next fortnight.
Skipper Cameron White has been joined by David Hussey on the list of players for today's IPL auction, and Shipperd is in negotiations with the Delhi franchise and awaiting approval from Cricket Victoria before he signs a contract, probably in the next two weeks. "I haven't signed anything yet but there are moves afoot for me to be involved with (Delhi), provided I get the encouragement and support of Cricket Victoria," Shipperd said yesterday.
"I think it would be a wonderful coaching opportunity to be involved with, to have four or five different international players in the team playing what is the red-hot form of the game at the moment."
Shipperd admitted to being surprised by the approach from Delhi, although it is understandable, given he has coached Victoria to the past three domestic Twenty20 championships. In the past three years, Victoria has lost only one Twenty20 match.
"It's an opportunity that has surprised me because I was always comfortable coaching at the level I am, which is a fantastic level in itself. But this is a one-out-of-the-box opportunity and it is a six-week tour basically, which shouldn't have any dramatic impact on my ability to discharge my duties for Victoria," he said.
"Coaches usually wander off and go and see Manchester United or go somewhere in America to learn more about coaching, which costs the association a fortune to do. So it's on-the-job training and hopefully bringing some positive spin-off to Victorian cricket down the track.
"Hopefully, I would have done some important ground work on the state of the grounds, pitches and how they play that would help Victoria out down the track."
Given that the Bushrangers have qualified for the proposed Champions League of domestic Twenty20 titleholders from India, England, Australia and South Africa, Shipperd could be faced with the dilemma of having Delhi play Victoria in the tournament.
But he said his situation would be no different to West Australian coach Tom Moody, who will coach Mohali in the IPL, should Mohali have to play the Warriors in the Champions League.
"Clearly, my … first priority is with Cricket Victoria as my employer and in the event of coaching both teams to a final, I would be looking after the Victorians and have a process behind the scenes in place to deal with the other side, which they are comfortable with," he said.
"I think the Indian (franchise) understand that.
"I think they are taking the opportunity to tap into a couple of people (he and Moody) who have been involved in the one-day form of the game and they expect we know something about it."
With White and Hussey in the IPL mix, Shipperd said he was keen to have both Victorians in the Delhi side. He was also hopeful Brad Hodge, who not on the list of players eligible for selection, would be of interest from a franchise in the future.
"I don't think he's on the list but it doesn't mean he can't be picked up as well. Some teams may come up with a structure they are not happy about and I think there is a capacity to go to other players," Shipperd said.