Lalchand Rajput on MCA coaches, selectors: Accountability will be the key
Mumbai Cricket Association's new CIC chief says coaches and selectors will be responsible for everything that happens with city cricket
Lalchand Rajput, Raju Kulkarni and Sameer Dighe have been tasked to bring back Mumbai cricket's glory. The 41-time Ranji Trophy champions last won the title in 2015-16. And for the last two seasons, the domestic stalwarts have not even made it to the knockout round.
On Tuesday, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) officially announced Rajput as the Cricket Improvement Committee's (CIC) chief.
Rajput, who is currently Zimbabwe's coach, spoke to mid-day of what it will take Mumbai cricket to rise again. India's 2007 World T20-winning coach promises a hands-on CIC which will not rest after making all key appointments.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
What are your plans for Mumbai cricket?
It is a very important committee. If we look at the last couple of years, we have not been doing well. This has added more responsibility to the committee. All three of us are experienced Test cricketers, hence there is a lot of responsibility on us. It is important to take proper decisions to ensure Mumbai cricket returns to its glory years.
Any particular factor you have identified that needs rectification?
There are various factors. It will be difficult to pin-point just one or two factors. It is important to bring all strings together to complete the circle. Coordination among all stakeholders is important. Those include the CIC, coaches, selectors and the administrators. That is why it is important to pick the right people for the right job and make them accountable. Once that is in place, most things will start falling in line automatically.
We will not rest after appointments. We will have monthly review meetings with coaches and selectors. They will be accountable for everything that happens in Mumbai cricket. We will also meet the administrators on a regular basis for smooth functioning. It is important to have everyone on the same page to take Mumbai cricket forward.
Has Mumbai lost out on appointing good coaches as most states have already hired them?
There is a strong pool of candidates for support staff jobs. Once we start our process, we will review these candidates and judge accordingly, keeping Mumbai cricket's benefit in mind. With the BCCI not sure when domestic cricket will start due to COVID-19, things are still uncertain. However, we will utilise this time to plan. Winning the Ranji Trophy will always be the ultimate goal but our focus will be to develop bench strength. If our bench strength is strong, Mumbai cricket will be strong.
Will it be a challenge for you to reconnect with city cricket after spending a lot of time away from Mumbai on coaching assignments?
A person who has been associated with Mumbai cricket in various capacities can never really go away from it. Wherever I have been due to my professional endeavours, the first thing I have checked is how the Mumbai team fared.
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