Ajay Ratra applies for India women’s cricket team coach job

Ajay Ratra has a fair bit of coaching experience and if given a chance he is confident of delivering better results.

Ajay Ratra has played for India in six Tests and 12 ODIs.   -  Facebook@Ajay Ratra

Ever since Tushar Arothe quit the India’s women’s team’s chief coach job last week, it has garnered enough attention from the fraternity.

With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) inviting applications to fill up the post, Sportstar has learnt that former India wicketkeeper-batsman, Ajay Ratra, has applied for the job.

On Tuesday, it was reported that former India women’s team captain and a seasoned coach, Mamatha Maben, has applied for the top job. A day later, Ratra confirmed to this publication that he has indeed applied for the role.

“I have sent in my application. I have a fair amount of experience in coaching and I am confident of delivering (if given a chance),” Ratra told Sportstar on Wednesday.

The BCCI, on Monday, invited applications for the coaching position. The applications for the post closes on July 20 and this publication has learnt that the Board will short-list the candidates and call for an interview once the BCCI GM (Cricket Operations), Syed Saba Karim, returns from UK.

Till the time a new coach is appointed, former India international and Mumbai stalwart, Ramesh Powar, will work as the interim coach of the team. He will oversee the camp in Bengaluru from July 25 to August 3.

A regular fielding coach at the National Cricket Academy, Ratra has played six Tests and 12 ODIs for India and was a part of the 2000 U-19 World Cup winning team. Last year, he had coached Punjab in the Ranji Trophy and was recently in the race for Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy coach. He, however, wasn’t considered for the Mumbai job and the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) decided to appoint homeboy, Vinayak Samant, as the coach.

“I wasn’t expecting it anyway. Mumbai has had the tradition of appointing state cricketers as coaches. But since they invited applications, I decided to try my luck,” the 36-year-old said.

With Punjab yet to get back to him, Ratra plans to have a meeting with the officials and then decide on the future course of action. “I am flexible (to coach any side). As far as women’s team coaching role is concerned, it is a long process and it’s too early to comment on anything,” the former India international said.

With the deadline still a couple of days away, a few more names could just crop up for the vacant coach job.

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