Hyderabad set to rope in Arunkumar as coach

Confirming the development, HCA secretary T Shesh Narayan told Sportstar that J Arunkumar will take charge of the team for the entire season. Even Arunkumar admitted that there was enough truth to the talks.

J. Arunkumar (right) maintained a good relationship with players like K. L. Rahul during his stint with Karnataka.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Team India’s gain was Hyderabad’s loss when the national side roped in Bharat Arun as its bowling coach last month. As the former cricketer took up the new assignment, he had to let go his coaching stint with the Hyderabad Ranji Trophy side.

While the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) suddenly found itself in a bit of quirk with the development, it began searching for a new coach for the season.

And finally, it has zeroed in on former Karnataka coach J Arunkumar as the coach for the coming season. The former batsman, who contributed well as a coach of the state side, will be in Hyderabad on Thursday to officially seal the deal. Confirming the development, HCA secretary T Shesh Narayan told Sportstar that Arunkumar will take charge of the team for the entire season. “Arunkumar will be our coach for the season. We have readied the paper works and he will officially sign the contract after reaching Hyderabadin a couple of days,” Shesh Narayan said.

The secretary also admitted that the association hopes that Arunkumar will be able to take the team to new heights, starting from where Bharat Arun had left. “One small change by Bharat Arun saw us qualifying from plate to elite group. Boys have the talent, all they need is a direction,” Shesh Narayan said, adding that Arunkumar’s track record as the Karnataka coach helped him bag the job. “We had to keep a lot of things in mind. We don’t have huge budget, and it was necessary to get someone with good credentials within that. Arunkumar fitted the bill, and his equation with the players too was taken into consideration,” the secretary added.

When contacted by this publication, Arunkumar admitted that there was enough truth to the talks. “Yes, what you have heard is right. The talks are brewing, and I will be in Hyderabad in a few days to look at the contract and then do the needful,” Arunkumar told Sportstar. While both the sides look confident of a good partnership, things would be clearer once the official agreement is signed by the end of the week.

During his two-year stint with the Karnataka side, Arunkumar successfully guided the team to win three domestic titles — Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Irani Cup. He was also the coach of Kings XI Punjab in this year’s Indian Premier League.

With things looking all set, Arunkumar is set to be the second player from Karnataka — after Sunil Joshi — to take charge as the coach of Hyderabad. In his previous stint with the home side, Arunkumar had delivered the goods, now it’s time for him to keep the momentum going, albeit for a new side.