Ranji Trophy: TNCA retains faith in support staff

It has been learnt that the TNCA will not be able to conduct the Buchi Babu tournament — the traditional pre-season competition — owing to a tight schedule.

Hrishikesh Kanitkar and L. Balaji are set to continue as coaching staff.   -  R. Ragu

The Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy team is likely to retain the same support staff for the coming season but for R.B. Kannan replacing Thulasi as physio. It is learnt Thulasi will not be available for the job.

This means Hrishikesh Kanitkar will continue as chief coach, L. Balaji, bowling coach, R. Prasanna, fielding coach and Ramji Srinivasan, strength and conditional coach.

Tamil Nadu had a forgettable 2017-18 — the side failed to make the knock-out stage in the Ranji Trophy and fared poorly in the Vijay Hazare Trophy — yet the TNCA has chosen to retain faith in the support staff.

The same support staff had galvanised Tamil Nadu to Ranji semifinals and guided the side to victories in Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophy tournaments in 2016-17 and the feeling, according to a source, was it should not be discarded after one ordinary season.

The thinking is that Tamil Nadu is building a team for the future, there is a need for patience and taking setbacks in its stride.

The source also confirmed that the TNCA will not be able to conduct the Buchi Babu tournament — the traditional pre-season competition — owing to a tight schedule.

The source said, “We are playing another eight rounds of VAP Trophy first division one-day competition and then we will have the final on September 10. Then the selectors will meet to pick the State team for the Vijay Hazare Trophy on September 11.”

The source added, “And one leg of the Vijay Hazare tournament, featuring Tamil Nadu, will be held in Chennai from September 17. So there really is no time to hold the Buchi Babu tournament at this stage. But we could look at the possibility of staging it later in the year.”

In the State senior selection panel, S. Chandramouli has replaced B. Ramprakash as the representative from the districts.