Former World Cupper Ajit Agarkar speaks on his appointment as Mumbai captain
There's a turnaround in relations between Ajit Agarkar and the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). Yesterday, the former India pacer was officially appointed Mumbai captain of the one-day team for the West Zone league matches of the Vijay Hazare Trophy from February 22 to 26. India batsman Ajinkya Rahane will be his deputy.
Mumbai captain Ajit Agarkar
Agarkar, who left for home from Cuttack after being left out of the playing XI in a Ranji Trophy league match against Orissa in November and subsequently made himself unavailable for the rest of the season, recently reconciled with the MCA after a meeting with chief selector Milind Rege, vice-president Prof Ratnakar Shetty and joint secretary Nitin Dalal.
The veteran pacer, who played 26 Tests, 191 ODIs and four T20 internationals, in an interview to MiD DAY yesterday said he was happy to play again and never thought about captaining Mumbai.
How does it feel to get the Mumbai captaincy after waiting for almost 16 years?
It is definitely a huge honour to captain Mumbai even though it is in the limited overs game. I have captained Mumbai earlier as well in the Deodhar Trophy and as stand-in skipper in the Ranji Trophy, but it is nice to be an official captain.
What does the captaincy mean to you?
As I said, it's a huge thing. Mumbai has such a great history, it feels nice to be in the same league. But more than anything, I am happy to be playing again.
What was your first reaction when the selectors told you to take charge?
I had no reaction. I was training and came to know about it a while ago. Honestly, I wasn't really thinking about captaincy at all. I am just happy playing for Mumbai again after being out for most of the Ranji Trophy season.
Did you expect captaincy to come your way after what had happened between you and the MCA?
Till the time Wasim (Jaffer) was leading, there was no question of anyone else being in the fray. Once he quit, someone would have been appointed. I wouldn't know if I expected this or not, but I am happy to be playing again and given the honour.
Were you at any point reluctant to accept the captaincy?
Why would I be reluctant in accepting the offer? I have never asked for captaincy, but if it would come my way, I wouldn't decline it either. So, at no point I was reluctant in accepting the offer.
Do you feel you have got enough time to prepare for the Vijay Hazare Trophy?
There will be thousands of plans, but it all depends on the sort of situation we are in. You have to react accordingly. There is less time to think in one-day games. Except a few players, I know most of the guys in the team. So, that should help us.
I am looking forward to play my first game at the refurbished Wankhede Stadium. It is my favourite ground. I am not thinking about how people will judge me (as captain). I am only bothered about getting good results for my team.
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