Duncan fletcher: If I had to start again..

... I would have developed a better working relationship with the media. I've always felt it was right to keep things close - but the perception of me is so far removed from the reality. People see me as this dour character, but my teams will tell you that there's always been a fun element too.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Rugby is a real passion for me - it's a unique and fascinating sport, probably the greatest spectator game of all. So if I hadn't ended up coaching cricket, I'd love to have gone down the same route in rugby.

But when I was growing up in Rhodesia, a career in sport never entered my mind. You just went out to work, and played sport afterwards. I worked in the computer industry throughout my playing days - even when I was captaining my country at the World Cup.

In 1985 I took a big decision: to move with my family to Cape Town. But you couldn't take money out of Zimbabwe, so although I found an IT job, I needed to earn some extra cash. I started coaching the university team, and this led to a full-time job offer from Western Province in 1993. That's when I finally gave up my IT career.

Everything just fell into place from there. People started to take notice: I got on a South Africa A tour to England, where I was offered the Glamorgan job. We won the championship in my first season, and in 1999 I was appointed England coach. I'm very proud of the history we created - going a whole year unbeaten, winning a one-day series in Australia, and of course reclaiming the Ashes. But there was also enormous pressure - winning the next series is always so important.

Still, I don't regret any of the choices I've made. If I'd done anything differently, I'd never have got the chance to coach England.

Former Zimbabwe captain Duncan Fletcher spent nearly eight years as coach to the England cricket team. His autobiography, Behind the Shades (Simon & Schuster), is out now.

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