Time to give right directions to Mumbai cricket: Balvinder Sandhu

Mar 07, 2014, 08:38 IST | Harit N Joshi

After the city team's recent debacle at the Vijay Hazare Trophy, former coach Balvinder Singh Sandhu says Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) should make cricket its top priority

>> Sandhu insists major changes are required to get things back on track
>> He believes there is no shortage of talent
>> Willing to contribute if MCA wants his help

Former Mumbai coach and 1983 World Cupper Balvinder Singh Sandhu feels cricket should be the core interest of Mumbai Cricket Association. 

Mumbai lost to Maharashtra in the quarter-finals of the Ranji Trophy and had a forgettable Vijay Hazare tournament this season. PIC/Suresh KK

Sandhu’s comments come in the light of Mumbai’s tame exit from the Vijay Hazare Trophy where they lost three of their four one-day matches in Rajkot recently. The 40-time champions were earlier knocked out of the Ranji Trophy at the quarter-final stage.

“What has happened has happened. Now is the time to give right direction to Mumbai cricket, and for that tough decisions have to be taken. In that process, cricket has to be the priority and not pleasing people. Cricket has to be the heart of every decision. It is because of our cricket that the MCA is shinning today.

“We cannot compromise on our cricket. We have enough talented players, but we need right people at the right time,” Sandhu told mid-day.

Sandhu, who coached Mumbai between 1996 and 1998, said he is willing to contribute to Mumbai cricket. “Being a maidan cricketer, I am always available for Mumbai cricket,” he said.

Balvinder Singh Sandhu

Appoint professionals
“It’s a professional world and we need to appoint professionals, who will deliver. The players also need to have a professional attitude towards their own game. In 1996, I asked the Mumbai boys whether we wanted to become a better fielding side than the Indian team. Everyone was committed to it and we dropped just three catches in those two seasons. We need such commitments now,” he added.

Collective failure
As far as the debacle this season is concerned, Sandhu refrained from pin-pointing individuals. “There are many aspects of our cricket which needs to be assessed. When we win, it is a collective responsibility. Similarly, when we lose, it is a collective failure. We are lacking in long-term and short-term planning.

“First and foremost, we need all coaches, that is, our academy coaches, age-group coaches and players’ personal coaches on the same page. We cannot have different coaches giving different instructions to players. We will simply confuse them. We have to also equip our players to think for themselves and help them analyse their game. They have to understand when to apply things in a match situation,” he concluded.

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