NEW DELHI (AP):
Australian fast bowling great Glenn McGrath says he hopes to fill the shoes of compatriot Dennis Lillee after taking over as head of India's top pace bowling academy.
Lillee had headed the MRF Pace Foundation, which is operated by tyre company the Madras Rubber Factory, since its inception in 1987. In that time he has contributed to the development of many fast bowlers including, most recently, Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad and Zaheer Khan.
"I'd grown up in New South Wales watching and admiring Lillee," The Hindu newspaper quoted McGrath as saying at a function organised to celebrate the academy's 25th anniversary. "He was a great fast bowler. It will be a challenge for me to continue his legacy here."
McGrath, 42, said the academy has helped pacemen not only from India, but also from all over the world.
"I came here in 1992 as a young paceman. It was just great learning from Lillee," said McGrath, who is Test cricket's most successful pace bowler with 563 wickets in 124 games, as well as 381 wickets in 250 one-day internationals.
"This is a huge opportunity. I would be doing what I like to do. India is probably one of the hardest places for the fast bowler to excel," McGrath said.
Lillee, who was Test cricket's highest wicket-taker at one point with 355 from 70 matches, said McGrath was an easy choice to take over as director of the academy.
"We thought long and hard and we could not have found a better candidate than McGrath," Lillee said.