Internal squabble delays appointment of Mumbai coach

Office-bearers propose Amol Muzumdar, while CIC wants Ramesh Powar to take over as the head coach for the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Ramesh Powar and Amol Muzumdar during their playing days.   -  Getty Images

Office-bearers of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and its Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) have been involved in a bitter tussle over the appointment of the senior team’s coach for the forthcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy.

On Friday, the MCA wrote to Lalchand Rajput, the CIC chairman, to approve the appointment of Mumbai stalwart Amol Muzumdar as the successor of Amit Pagnis - who resigned last month after Mumbai’s poor show in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

However, Rajput responded to MCA proposing Ramesh Powar, the former India off-spinner as the coach. Rajput in his email, accessed by Sportstar, has also pointed out that the CIC has been authorised to appoint coaches as per the MCA rulebook.

READ: MCA forced to seek new head coach after Amit Pagnis quits

“The CIC has the prerogative to appoint the coach and the CIC committee feels that Mr. Ramesh Powar is the right candidate to be the coach of the Mumbai senior team since he has been the coach of the Indian senior women’s team and is associated with the National Cricket Academy as a senior coach,” Rajput wrote in his email.

“We as CIC committee had written a letter regarding the resignation of the coach and you haven’t replied yet and suddenly today you are appointing him (Muzumdar). We as CIC committee don’t agree and the committee’s choice is Mr. Ramesh Powar.”

It is understood that the apex council meeting last week had authorised office-bearers to appoint the coach. However, a section of apex council members assumed that since the MCA rules clearly state the CIC has to finalise coaches and selectors, the office-bearers would work in tandem with the CIC.

Neither Rajput nor MCA president Vijay Patil nor secretary Sanjay Naik responded to queries about resolution to the coach appointment muddle.

The internal squabble has resulted in the head coach being unable to witness the selection trials of the team.

The staggering 104 probables’ list announced by the selectors last week has been pruned to 40 players. These players have been divided into three teams and the three selection matches are to be concluded on Saturday. The selection panel, headed by Salil Ankola, is set to finalise the squad of 22 for the one-day tournament, likely to start on February 18.

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