Three seasons ago when he thought his first-class career was over, Raiphi Vincent Gomez received an unexpected offer from Puducherry Cricket Association to play Ranji Trophy.
On Wednesday, Raiphi received another boost when he was offered the role of chief coach of the Puducherry Ranji Trophy team.
A former Kerala captain, Raiphi played a few matches for Puducherry and helped the side to qualify for the elite group before ending his first-class career. After his retirement, Raiphi dabbled into cricket coaching even though he kept the link with Puducherry cricket as one of its selectors for the last two seasons.
Now as a chief coach, Raiphi is keen to bring a difference to the young side which will be playing in the elite division this season.
"More than the results, I am keener on the process of making Puducherry a good side. It is an evolving side and naturally, the progression is more important than the results. More than the short-term success I am looking at the holistic development of the side,'' said Raiphi, who will be making his debut as the coach of a senior team.
“After retiring as a player three years ago, I was involved in coaching. I was mentoring a lot of young players and was also acting as a consultant for various cricket academies across the State. I was also one of the coaches at the Rajasthan Royals High-Performance Centre.
“However, this is my first job as a full-time coach of a senior team. It is a new challenge but having been associated with Puducherry cricket for the last three years, I know the vision and dreams and I am comfortable working with the association,” he added.
“Though it is a new association, Puducherry already has excellent infrastructure and other allied facilities. They have a good league structure and there are enough tournaments for the players to gain exposure. It has got a T10, T20, and 50 overs league. So it is only a matter of time for players to make their mark and soon we will be having more local players representing Puducherry in the Ranji Trophy,’‘ Raiphi signed off.