Julien Fountain Appointed Bangladesh Fielding Coach by the Bangladesh Cricket Board
Julien Fountain was born in Sussex in 1970. He was a British Olympian baseball player as well as a fielding coach. He started his cricket career while playing in the youth development (Under 13 to Under 19) teams for Somerset. He had an inherent aptitude for baseball and was selected in the European baseball team just after playing the game for six months. He was the pitcher of British baseball team from 1988 to 2002. He made a comeback to cricket in 1996 (since he left cricket after playing for the Under 19 team). He soon rose to prominence due to his expertise in fielding techniques. He carried along a cricket, hockey as well as field coaching career together. His coaching career took a new turn while conducting a course for the English Cricket Board. During the course, his fielding techniques inspired the national cricket coach, Gordon Lord. The inspiration resulted in Julien Fountain being appointed as the specialist fielding coach for all youth teams in England. He had the opportunity to coach some of the shining stars of today’s English cricket team like Andrew Flintoff, Graeme Swann and Owais Shah. He served the West Indies cricket team as a fielding coach successfully and proved his worth by improving the fielding department of West Indies drastically. He also acted as a specialist coach for the Pakistan A team under the Head Coach Mudassar Nazar and subsequently conducted a week-long fielding course for the Pakistan national team under the Head Coach Richard Pybus. However, he failed to earn a place in the English team due to his differences with the England Cricket Board. In 2006, Julien Fountain was appointed as the specialist fielding coach for the Pakistan national team with Bob Woolmer as the Head Coach. He contributed a lot in improving the declining fielding techniques of the Pakistani team and every player benefited from his advice. In 2007, English Cricket Board director David Moore hired his services for the England cricket team as a specialist fielding coach. He proved his adeptness in fielding techniques by bringing a visible improvement in the English fielding.
Now, the Bangladesh Cricket board has decided to seek the services of Julien Fountain as a specialist fielding coach. The contract would remain valid until the end of the 2011 World Cup. Julien Fountain would resume his duties after arriving at Dhaka on Thursday. Julien Fountain is highly optimistic about the young Bangladeshi side and expects them to be strong contenders for the 2011 World Cup. However, only time will determine whether his expectations are transformed into reality or it just remains a dream. However, the enthusiasm and the previous reputation Julien Fountain carries raise hopes that a visible improvement in the fielding techniques would be evident for Bangladesh. Fielding plays a vital role in winning a match and an active fielding style strengthens any team. Jonty Rhodes of South Africa turned several matches in the favour of his country just by his exclusive fielding style. At present, the Bangladeshi fielding line-up presents a bleak picture and the decision to appoint Julien Fountain may be termed as a step in the right direction. Coaching by an expert would definitely boost Bangladesh in their preparations for the forthcoming World Cup. Fielding has always been a weak point for the Bangladesh team. The experience and expertise by Julien Fountain may transform Bangladesh into a strong fielding side. The Pakistani team had also sought the coaching services of Julien Fountain and had been very successful in improving their fielding techniques under his guidance. Bangladesh seems to be preparing hard for the 2011 World Cup, which is being co-hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. While the year 2010 didn’t prove successful for Bangladesh, this initiative depicts visionary changes on part of the Bangladesh Cricket Board. Julien Fountain’s fielding techniques successfully enhanced the performances of many a teams in the past. Let’s hope the decision will herald a new chapter in the Bangladesh cricket arena.