Paddy Upton, who was coach of the Rajasthan Royals for four years from 2009 to 2013, is back with the franchise for the 2019 Indian Premier League. In a statement by Rajasthan Royals lead owner Manoj Badale, it read, “It gives us immense pleasure to announce Paddy joining the team. We welcome him back to the Royals Family. Paddy is someone who is well versed with the culture of Rajasthan Royals and he knows what it takes to achieve success in international sport at the highest level.” Upton will be hoping that his tenure in 2019 begins on a right note after leaving the franchise in 2013.
The 2013 Indian Premier League, which was the final year of Upton’s coaching tenure at the franchise, was marred by the spot-fixing scandal and it involved three players from the Rajasthan Royals. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were found guilty of spot-fixing and all three received life bans by the BCCI. In the same year, Rajasthan Royals reached the semi-final of the IPL and also the final of the 2013 Champions League T20 where they lost in the final to Mumbai Indians.
However, Upton is best remembered for his work as the mental conditioning coach of the Indian cricket team when he combined with head coach Gary Kirsten during their victorious 2011 World Cup campaign. In that event, MS Dhoni’s side created history as they defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets to win the World Cup for the first time at home. It was also the first time that a side had won the World Cup at home and Upton’s contribution was significant.
Upton has also held the position of Performance Director of South Africa Cricket from 2011-2014, when South Africa became the first cricket team to hold the World No.1 ranking in all three formats of the game (2012). Upton has guided and mentored several franchise teams across the globe, be it in IPL, Big Bash or Pakistan Super League. As coach of Sydney Thunder for four years, he guided the team to the 2016 Big Bash League title.
In 2018, he was inducted into Australia's Deakin University as a Professor of Practice at its Business School. His role includes creating free online coaching courses for people with an interest in building their career in sports coaching.