Former Mumbai Ranji Trophy-winning coach Sulakshan Kulkarni (49) was yesterday appointed Chhattisgarh coach for a tenure of three years.

Sulakshan Kulkarni
Sulakshan Kulkarni

Kulkarni has been handed over the responsibility to guide Chhattisgarh in their maiden Ranji Trophy season. In February, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) awarded Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh full membership status, thus making them the 28th affiliated unit of the Indian cricket board to take part in the Ranji Trophy.

As an associate member of the BCCI, Chattisgarh was participating only in junior tournaments.

Kulkarni, it is learnt, pipped former India players like Sunil Joshi, Abey Kuruvilla, Sameer Dighe and Hrishikesh Kanitkar for the job. Kulkarni is excited to make a comeback as coach on the first-class circuit after Mumbai sacked the former stumper in 2014, following the domestic giants’ quarter-final exit.

"I am used to comebacks now," Kulkarni chuckled during an interaction with mid-day yesterday. "I was looking for a good opportunity and I am happy to take charge of the Chattisgarh team. It is exciting because they will be playing the Ranji Trophy for the first time and talent here is impressive. Chattisgarh’s performance in junior cricket over the last five years has been quite exciting and there is a lot of potential."