The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) yesterday finally confirmed the appointment of Lalchand Rajput as coach of the Mumbai team for the forthcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy one-dayers and the season-ending Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament.
The former India cricketer and the World T20-winning coach will take the reigns from Sulkashan Kulkarni, who was shunted out after Mumbai’s quarter-final loss to Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy. Rajput’s appointment comes days before the team is supposed to leave for Rajkot where they take on Baroda in the Vijay Hazare Trophy opener on February 27.
“We are short on time, but whatever has happened has happened. My aim would be to make full use of whatever time I have on hand. Players have been practicing regularly at the indoor academy (in Bandra Kurla Complex), so it’s just a matter of regrouping,” Rajput told MiD DAY.
The MCA had sought permission of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to release Rajput, who is the India ‘A’ coach, for Mumbai duty.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s Managing Committee meeting of which Rajput was a part of, was quite a heated one, it is learnt. Sources said many members were not happy with the selection of 36 probables for the one-day tournament. “There are a lot of deserving players who have been consistently doing well in local tournaments but have not been considered in the probables,” said a source.