MCA defers Ranji coach selection

While an MCA statement stated the Ranji Trophy coach’s appointment will be “finalised shortly”, Sportstar understands that the CIC decided to defer the decision due to the unavailability of the chairman of selectors, Ajit Agarkar, for Tuesday's meeting.

Praveen Amre has expressed his interest in returning as Mumbai coach.   -  PTI

While the Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA’s) Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) finalised coaches for the junior and women teams during its meeting on Tuesday, the decision to appoint the senior team coach has been deferred by a couple of days.

While an MCA statement stated the Ranji Trophy coach’s appointment will be “finalised shortly”, Sportstar understands that the CIC decided to defer the decision due to the unavailability of the chairman of selectors, Ajit Agarkar, for Tuesday's meeting. Agarkar, also a CIC member, had to skip the meeting due to medical reasons. As a result, the CIC decided to reconvene in a couple of days to discuss the senior team coach.

Praveen Amre, the former Mumbai coach, is understood to have expressed his interest in returning as Mumbai coach in place of Chandrakant Pandit, who was in charge of the team for the last two seasons. However, a section of MCA officials are of the view that since Amre is an elected office-bearer and the chairman of the CIC – the committee that's tasked with identifying coaches and selectors – it will not be prudent for him to be roped in without considering other candidates.

Amre has had two stints with the team, for five years from 2006-07 followed by a year-long return in 2014-15 before Pandit took over from 2015-16.

It will be interesting to see if the next CIC meeting, set to be held later in the week, decides to invite prospective candidates for presentations and interviews. The CIC had shortlisted candidates for the junior and women posts and met with them on Tuesday. But the last time such a process was followed was six years ago. When Sulakshan Kulkarni was made the coach in 2011-12, he was one of the four candidates interviewed by the CIC.

Pagnis replaces Samant

Meanwhile, continuing its policy of bringing in fresh faces which it adopted while appointing selection panels last week, the CIC handed the Under-23 team charge to former Mumbai and Railways opening batsman Amit Pagnis. He will thus take over the reigns of the feeder squad from former wicket-keeper Vinayak Samant. Similarly, Satish Samant has replaced Vinod Raghavan as the Under-19 coach.

The coaches:

Under-23: Amit Pagnis; Under-19: Satish Samant; Under-16: Vinayak Mane; Under-14: Sandesh Kawle

Women: Aparna Kambli; Girls Under-19: Jayesh Dadarkar

University Men: Vinay Dandekar; University Women: Swati Patil

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