Chandigarh to feature in Ranji Trophy with VRV Singh as coach

Chandigarh has produced top cricketers in the past, who eventually went on to play for either Punjab or Haryana; this time, some of the local players will be available for selection.

Former India seam bowler VRV Singh has been appointed coach of the Chandigarh cricket team.   -  FILE PHOTO/ PTI

 

Chandigarh will feature in the Plate Division of the BCCI domestic season 2019-20. The Union Territory Cricket Association (UTCA) has named former India fast bowler VRV Singh as the coach of its senior team.

BCCI General Manager (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim confirmed to Sportstar that now with UTCA becoming an affiliated member of the board, Chandigarh will be featuring in all the BCCI tournaments. “They will be participating in all the tournaments across age-groups,” Karim said.

With Chandigarh joining the fray, the Plate Division will have more competition with Goa too being relegated. It had lost seven out of nine matches in the Ranji Trophy last season in Elite Group C.

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The BCCI had allowed nine teams — six from north-east states along with Bihar, Uttarakhand and Puducherry — to play in all the tournaments in 2018-19.

“It is a matter of pride that Chandigarh will finally be having a team of its own in Ranji Trophy. We have really talented players here and we are confident about doing well in the season,” Vivek Atray, senior vice-president of UTCA, told this publication.

The team will also participate in the JP Atray Trophy which begins in Chandigarh from September 1. “We will conduct selection trials and choose players from the tournament for the Vijay Hazare Trophy,” Atray said.

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Chandigarh has produced top cricketers in the past, who eventually went on to play for either Punjab or Haryana. This time, some of the local players will be available for selection. While the UTCA officials remained tight-lipped, highly-placed sources indicated that chances of Bipul Sharma, Manan Vohra and Uday Kaul playing for Chandigarh are quite high.

While VRV has been named the coach for the senior team, the association is also in the process of selecting coaches for the women's and U-19 teams.  

"It is a great feeling that Chandigarh will be featuring in the Ranji Trophy for the first time and it will also be my first coaching assignment. I am really looking forward to it," VRV said on his new role.

Having featured for Punjab in his playing days, VRV feels this move will benefit the young cricketers. "It's a big boost for the players of Chandigarh. It will immensely help them," he said.