Domestic stalwart Amol Muzumdar is new Mumbai coach | Cricket News – Times of India
The decision was taken 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, at a meeting with the MCA’s office-bearers on Tuesday at the MCA office in the Wankhede Stadium premises. Muzumdar pipped eight other candidates — Wasim Jaffer, Sairaj Bahutule, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Sulakshan Kulkarni, Pradeep Sunderram, Nandan Phadnis, Umesh Patwal and Vinod Raghvan, who were all interviewed by the CIC last week.
Once Powar quit the post after coaching Mumbai to the Vijay Hazare Trophy triumph, Muzumdar was a frontrunner to bag the job. A former Mumbai Ranji-winning captain, Muzumdar, in an epic career that spanned between 1993 and 2013 — scored 11,167 runs in 171 first-class games @48.13, with 30 hundreds and 60 fifties. On his first-class debut for Bombay, he had scored 260 against Haryana at Faridabad in a Ranji Trophy match in the 1993–94 season — a world record that stood till 2018. A technically correct batsman who stood out because he didn’t wear a helmet, preferring to bat with his cap on, he was generally considered extremely unlucky to have never played for India.
Post retirement, the 46-year-old 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.
“We wanted somebody who has experienced some of the best years of the Mumbai cricket culture. That culture is completely steeped in Amol. He has scored 11,000-plus runs, so there’s no doubt about his credentials. He’s coached at the Royals and the NCA. All of this prompted us to make the decision. We called over Amol today to the Wankhede. The idea was to get everyone in the same room and plan everything in alignment, so that there’s no ambiguity. Our priority is to use the next 60-90 days as optimally as we can, given that we are in a lockdown and nothing’s happening,” Paranjape told TOI.
“It feels good to be back after a while. I’m thankful to everyone who’s contributed to this — the CIC and the office-bearers — that they’ve shown their faith in me,” Muzumdar told TOI. While Mumbai won the Vijay Hazare One-Day Trophy with Powar as coach earlier this year, the domestic giants need to do better in the Ranji Trophy, which they last won in the 2015-16 season, if it’s held this time.
“I would love to put Mumbai cricket back on track as far as red-ball cricket is concerned. It’s an important point and should be looked at in the right perspective. However, it’s too far-fetched a thing. At the moment, I’m just interested in meeting and getting to know everyone,” he said.
With the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur and Prithvi Shaw, Mumbai have plenty of India players in their ranks now. “I had mentioned it in my presentation to the CIC that India representation was one of the main factors for Mumbai cricket. At the moment, we’ve seven players who’re representing India in various formats of the game. It’s a significant number. At Mumbai, we’ve always prided ourselves in producing India players. That should be the goal,” explained Muzumdar.
One of the new Mumbai coach’s goals would also be to help Shaw make an India comeback. “Definitely, it’s one of my (priorities). So far we’ve had a really nice relationship. So I’m looking forward to it,” he said. He acknowledged that Powar, who played under his captaincy, had done a fine job in his shirt stint. “In that short time that Ramesh was there, I’m sure that the players benefited from his presence. He’s now an India women’s team’s coach, but I’m sure he’s keeping an eye on what’s happening here,” said Muzumdar.
Commentating in domestic cricket and being part of the coaching staff at the Royals has given Muzumdar a fair idea about the current scenario there. “It’s given me a bird’s eye view of domestic cricket. It has helped me in different aspects of the game. The experience of coaching for four years at RR has given me a different perspective. I’ve handled world-class players like Steve Smith and Ben Stokes,” stressed Muzumdar.
For someone who started his cricket in an era where playing for Mumbai was the ultimate goal for a Mumbai youngster, Mzumdar is aware that things are different now in the post-IPL world. “Times have changed. I wouldn’t say that it’s a bad thing to look out for an IPL career. We need to adjust to the demands of modern-day-cricket. The IPL is a big platform, but we need to be connected to the roots of the game. It should be a healthy balance,” he summed up.
Known as someone who carries Mumbai cricket in his heart, did he get emotional when he was told about his new appointment. “Not really. When I retired, I left the emotional part there,” he said.
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