NEW DELHI: Glenn McGrath has been named as successor to fellow Australian pace legend Dennis Lillee as head of the MRF foundation in India, where fast bowlers from around the world receive specialist coaching.
McGrath, 42, the most successful fast bowler in Test history with 563 wickets, will take over at the academy in the southern city of Chennai next year from Lillee, who helped set up the foundation in 1987.
“It is a tough assignment and I would be happy if I can achieve half of what Dennis had successfully done,” McGrath, who retired in 2007, told reporters in Chennai late Sunday.
“It is a great honour for me to work with the foundation. I know it will not be possible to replace someone like the great Dennis Lillee, whose legacy is hard to live up to, but I will strive to do my best.”
Lillee, 63, said family commitments and age forced him to leave the part-time role as chief coach at the centre, which is acclaimed for its facilities and methods helping fast bowlers to sharpen their skills.
“With 25 years of service and 63-plus age, I do not want to travel away from home anymore,” Lillee, who claimed 355 Test wickets, said.
“My biggest triumph is to have succeeded in starting the academy from scratch.”
Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath are among the best-known Indian products of the foundation, which is run by the MRF tyre company.
Among other international bowlers who have honed their bowling in Chennai are McGrath himself, Australians Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson, and Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas.