Shrikant Kalyani appointed Maharashtra cricket coach

The Maharashtra Cricket Association ratified the appointment of Shrikant Kalyani as the head coach of Maharashtra's cricket team. Kalyani is a former batsman who has represented Maharashtra and Bengal in the Ranji Trophy.

Shrikant Kalyani will be Maharashtra's fifth coach in six years.

Shrikant Kalyani, the former Maharashtra and Bengal batsman, has been appointed Maharashtra coach for the forthcoming domestic cricket season. Kalyani’s appointment was ratified by the managing committee of the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA), which met in Nashik on Friday.

“We are pleased to appoint Mr. Kalyani as the senior team coach for the season and are pretty confident he will help the team continue with the good show over the last few seasons,” said MCA president Ajay Shirke.

Kalyani will thus return to an active role in Maharashtra cricket after almost three decades. Since he wasn’t getting picked at the highest level despite scoring heavily for Maharashtra, he switched allegiance to Bengal in 1989-90 but still could not get a call-up from the national selectors.

“Yes, you can say that my return to Maharashtra cricket is complete today,” a delighted Kalyani told Sportstar from Pune. “I am really looking forward to the opportunity of working with a talented lot of cricketers.”

Plethora of coaches

Kalyani, who was inducted into the BCCI technical committee last month, will thus become the fifth Maharashtra coach in six years. In 2012-13, the MCA, continuing its obsession with overseas coaches, roped in former England all-rounder Dermott Reeve in place of Australian Shaun Williams. After sacking Reeve midway through the season, it appointed former Maharashtra captain Surendra Bhave as coach.

Under Bhave, Maharashtra stormed into the Ranji Trophy final in 2013-14. However, the MCA released him ahead of the next season, handing over the reins to Australian David Andrews, who had been previously working with Maharashtra’s Under-19 team. Maharashtra was in danger of being relegated to Group C last season but held on to its place with a famous victory against Karnataka in its last league game.

Despite a topsy-turvy season, Maharashtra has emerged as one of the few settled units in domestic season. Kalyani said it would be an advantage to have the core group in place. “I have been following the Maharashtra team from the peripheries. It comes across as a talented bunch. Once I start working with them closely will I realise whether I need to work on the individual skill sets,” he said.