Aavishkar Salvi joins Pondicherry as head coach

Former Mumbai cricketer Onkar Khanvilkar and Rajasthan's Dishant Yagnik have been named the assistant coach and fielding coach respectively.

File photo of Aavishkar Salvi during a domestic match.   -  V. Ganesan

The Cricket Association of Pondicherry (CAP) has roped in former India pacer and Mumbai ace, Aavishkar  Salvi, as its head coach for the upcoming domestic season.

Former Mumbai cricketer Onkar Khanvilkar and Rajasthan's Dishant Yagnik have been named the assistant coach and fielding coach respectively.

When Pondicherry broke into the Ranji Trophy in 2018, Salvi was appointed the head coach and the team had a decent outing in the plate group. However, in the last season, CAP hired J. Arunkumar as the head coach. The performances were not too impressive, a fall out saw Arunkumar quitting in middle of the season.

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This time around, the association has gone back to the tried and tested policy and has handed Salvi the role. "First season, I had a good experience. There have been a lot of development in terms of infrastructure. In the first season, there were adversities but even then the team finished third, which was a good sign," Salvi told Sportstar.

After parting ways with Pondicherry, he joined the Oman cricket team. But he is looking forward to working with his old team. "Last season, there were some changes but even then the players performed well. So, there has been an improvement."

With the country fighting the coronavirus pandemic, there is no clarity on the season. "But we have to remain positive. We don't know the format and when it will start. We have to be ready for the challenges. We have to deal with the physical and mental aspects," Salvi, who featured in four ODIs for India, said.

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"We have been doing zoom interactions. We are keeping things simple and ensuring that no one feels left out," the coach said, adding that the target is to make sure that the players are fit and in the right frame of mind.

Last season, Pondicherry roped in K.B. Arun Karthik, R. Vinay Kumar as professional guest players. This season, chances are high that the association will have to have a rethink on the names. "We are in talks with a lot of players. We are yet to take a decision," an official in the know of things said.

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