Mumbai Cricket Association appoints Salil Ankola as chief selector of senior team

Former India cricketer Salil Ankola was named the chairman of the senior selection committee of the Mumbai Cricket Association.

Salil Ankola featured in a lone Test and 20 ODIs for India, apart from playing 54 first-class and 75 List A matches.   -  Twitter/@salilankola68

Former India pacer Salil Ankola has been appointed the chairman of Mumbai’s selection panel for the forthcoming domestic season, set to begin on January 10 with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The coach of the team, however, is still not appointed.

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In a statement issued by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), Ankola along with four others - Sanjay Patil, Ravi Thakkar, Zulfiqar Parkar and Ravi Kulkarni - have been appointed based on the recommendation by the Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC).

The CIC - comprising Lalchand Rajput (chairman), Sameer Dighe and Raju Kulkarni - had on December 2 submitted its shortlisted candidates for selectors’ and coach’s positions. However, the MCA apex council, after rounds of heated discussion among its members, eventually appointed the selection committee on Wednesday till March 31.

Ankola thus returns to active cricket fold after being away for a long time. Having represented India in a lone Test and 20 ODIs, besides glittering stints for Mumbai and Maharashtra in domestic cricket, Ankola forayed into acting since the late 1990s. Patil is the lone survivor from the last year’s selection panel.

The selection committee will now have to at least shortlist probables with barely a fortnight remaining for the team’s departure on January 2.

Kulkarni or Pagnis for coach

It is understood that the CIC, after interviewing 24 candidates in September, has recommended Sulakshan Kulkarni and Amit Pagnis as the top two choices for the coach’s post. Kulkarni, who was the coach of Mumbai for three seasons starting 2011-12, is the first choice but the MCA officials are understood to be negotiating the financials with him.

Interestingly, ahead of the last season, Kulkarni’s expected return as the Mumbai coach could not materialise due to the same reasons.