Vinayak Samant: Coaching Mumbai is a very big responsibility

Jul 13, 2018, 16:01 IST | Subodh Mayure

Mumbai's newly-appointed Ranji team coach Vinayak Samant realises huge task on hand but is confident of positive results

Vinayak Samant: Coaching Mumbai is a very big responsibility
Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar greets ex-Mumbai U-23 coach Vinayak Samant during a felicitation function at the Khar Gymkhana in 2016

After three meetings (on July 6, 10 and 11), which lasted nearly 18 hours in total, the Mumbai Cricket Association's (MCA) Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) yesterday finally decided on who will coach the Mumbai Ranji Trophy team and the under-19 side. Former Mumbai and Tripura wicketkeeper-batsman Vinayak Samant got the Ranji team's job while ex-Mumbai all-rounder Wilkin Mota will guide the under-19 outfit."

Samant was the first candidate to appear before the CIC for an interview on Wednesday morning before former Test off-spinner Ramesh Powar and ex-Rajasthan coach Pradeep Sunderam. Samant, who coached the Mumbai U-23 team to their 2015-16 CK Nayudu Trophy triumph, had a sleepless night on Tuesday as he worked on two consecutive shifts — 3 pm to 10 pm and then 10 pm to 7.30 am — at his Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) office in Sewri. "I am used to it," Samant told mid-day about his grueling schedule. "I don't think it's too hectic for me because I enjoy finding time for my coaching assignments."

Ramesh Powar
Ramesh Powar

Samant, 45, has figured in 101 first-class games (for Mumbai and Tripura) and was part of four Mumbai Ranji Trophy triumphs. He scored 3496 first-class runs and claimed 347 victims behind the stumps. "I'm very glad, but at the same time, I know that it's a very big responsibility on me. I'm sure I will fulfill my duty with positive results. I'm hoping my presence will benefit the players and the association (MCA)," he added.

The CIC, it is learnt, had almost made up their mind on Powar. However, what went against the former India offie was his decision to quit his spin bowling coach's role at MCA's BKC indoor academy last February. Recently, Powar was invited by Cricket Australia to coach young spinners at their academy in Brisbane. "They [managing committee] said there were some issues [about Powar]. There was a managing committee resolution which said that those who quit posts will not be considered again," MCA joint secretary Dr Unmesh Khanvilkar said when asked about why Powar missed out.

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