New innings awaits ‘coach’ Bundela

Four months after calling it quits, Bundela is back to cricket, this time as a coach for the Madhya Pradesh senior team in the KSCA Inter-state invitational tournament.

Veteran batsman Devendra Bundela will now coach Madhya Pradesh.   -  Vivek Bendre

It is never easy for a cricketer to perform consistently for 25 long years. And it is even tougher to keep one motivated year after year despite being snubbed by national selectors.

But over the last couple of decades and a half, Devendra Bundela had done the unimaginable. Proving his mettle day in and day out, Bundela went on to become the third-highest scorer in the history of Ranji Trophy, amassing 9,201 runs for Madhya Pradesh.

When he had drawn curtains on his long career last March, there were speculations in the Madhya Pradesh cricketing circles about Bundela’s future plans.

While most of his friends and former team-mates knew he would return to the game, may be as a coach, some felt he would perhaps just focus on his banking job.

But four months after calling it quits, Bundela is back to cricket, this time as a coach for the Madhya Pradesh senior team.

The former batsman will be starting his new journey as a coach when Madhya Pradesh takes part in the KSCA Inter-state invitational tournament next week.

He will be joined by Abbas Ali - the grandson of the legendary, Syed Mushtaq Ali - as the second coach.

“I have always wanted to give back something to the game and I am glad that I could actually return to the game as a coach,” Bundela told Sportstar.

This being his first assignment as the coach, Bundela is brimming with confidence.

“As a player, it was about team’s success. Now, as a coach, my job will remain the same - eyeing success for the team,” Bundela said.

Though it is still not decided whether Bundela will be included in the support staff for Madhya Pradesh’s Ranji Trophy campaign, Sportstar understands that such chances are quite high.

Bundela, however, wants to take things easy. “I will take as they come. This is a new beginning and I am looking forward to it,” he added.

As a player, Bundela - who had featured in 145 matches for Madhya Pradesh - still holds the record of most number of appearances in Ranji Trophy.

And as the 41-year-old gears up for a new beginning, Bundela will be hoping to make this assignment as illustrious as his playing career.