Former Mumbai wicket-keeper batter, Sulakshan Kulkarni, has been appointed the coach of the Tamil Nadu senior cricket team for the next two seasons.
The 56-year-old former Mumbai coach takes over from M. Venkataramana in the Tamil Nadu team. Kulkarni is a multi-dimensional personality having won the Ranji Trophy for Mumbai both as a cricketer and as a coach.
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) was keen to rope in the highly rated Chandrakant Pandit but the celebrated coach was tied down by his commitments with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
It is understood that during his conversations with the TNCA officials, Pandit himself suggested Kulkarni’s name.
The TNCA was keen on signing up a coach from Mumbai for he would instil the ‘Khadoos’ attitude [playing hard and tough on the cricket field] in the Tamil Nadu team.
Of course, winning the Ranji Trophy is TNCA’s goal and Kulkarni, a tough-talking and a result-oriented coach, is expected to be given a free hand to put his ideas in place.
D. Girish, Chairman TNCA’s Cricket Advisory Committee, told Sportstar, “I had a long conversation with Kulkarni. He was asked probing questions.”
Girish added, “However, he was clear in his mind about what he wanted to bring to the team as a coach. His clarity of thought and vision impressed us.”
A dogged batter and an effective ‘keeper in his time, Kulkarni made 3,332 runs in 65 First-Class matches at 38.29 apart from taking 122 catches and effecting 21 stumpings.
And he is familiar with Chennai, having played in the TNCA first division league here.
Now, he comes in a totally different role. In the true Mumbai tradition, he will make the Tamil Nadu players work hard. The no-nonsense Kulkarni has the reputation of cracking the whip too.