MUMBAI: Domestic stalwart Amol Muzumdar, former India leg-spinner Sairaj Bahutule and ex-Mumbai wicketkeeper Sulakshan Kulkarni are amongst the prominent candidates to have applied for the post of head coach of the Mumbai senior team for the forthcoming season.
TOI had reported on May 18 that with Ramesh Powar, who coached the Mumbai team to the Vijay Hazare Trophy title last season, having been appointed as the coach of the India women’s team, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has quickly swung into action to find a new coach.
The MCA floated the ad on May 17, and the deadline for applying for the post expired on Monday at 5 pm on Monday. To be a coach for the Mumbai senior team, one should have played a minimum of 50 first-class matches, be a National Cricket Academy (NCA) certified coach, should have the experience of coaching a state team/IPL franchisee/NCA, and should be residing in Mumbai.
Muzumdar, who lost out narrowly to Powar the last time, is a frontrunner to bag the job this time. A former Mumbai Ranji-winning captain, Muzumdar scored a record 11,167 runs in 171 first-class games @48.13, with 30 hundreds and 60 fifties to boot. Post retirement, he was a batting coach with the NCA, the Rajasthan Royals and the visiting South African team to India in 2019, besides being a TV commentator in domestic cricket.
Bahutule too has a strong case. Besides featuring in two Tests and eight ODIs, he played 188 first-class games, in which he took 630 email@example.com, and scored 6176 firstname.lastname@example.org. Post his retirement, he coached Vidarbha, Kerala, Bengal (for four years) and was Gujarat’s coach for the past two seasons. He is also the RR spin bowling coach, and in 2017, worked with Australia’s young spinners at Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.
Mumbai had won the Ranji Trophy with Kulkarni as the coach in the 2012-13 season, besides reaching the semifinals in 2011-12 and the quarters in the 2013-14 season during his three-year stint. He has coached Vidarbha and Chhattisgarh too. The 54-year-old was the coach of India’s specially-abled cricket team which won the inaugural T20 Physical Disability World Cricket Series in 2019.
The candidates are likely to be interviewed by the MCA’s Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC)- which is headed by former India batsman and national selector Jatin Paranjape, and includes ex-India players Vinod Kambli and Nilesh Kulkarni- this week.
Meanwhile, a section of the MCA members feel that the office-bearers are hastening the procedure to appoint coaches and selectors despite a complaint against the dissolution of the previous CIC pending with the MCA ombudsman.
After the MCA dissolved the previous CIC, two of its three members, chairman Lalchand Rajput and former India pacer Raju Kulkarni had approached Justice (retd) Vijaya Tahilramani for reinstating their committee.
Rajput and Kulkarni have sent reminders to Tahilramani in this regard. “The secretaries and the new CIC are in the process of appointing the coaches and selectors which should be restrained from making such cricketing decisions till our petitions are heard and made your decision on it,” Rajput wrote in his email to the Ombudsman.