Ahead of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has appointed former Team India spinner Ramesh Powar as the Mumbai head coach. Ending months of speculation over the post, Ramesh Powar has been roped in to replace Amit Pagnis following Mumbai poor form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament. Mumbai was kicked out of the tournament right after group stage which it ended in the last place having won only one match out of the 5 played.
Powar will begin his new role in the Mumbai camp with the Vijay Hazare Trophy which is slated to begin later this month. In the 50-over tournament, Mumbai has been clubbed with Delhi, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Pondicherry in Group D. Having won the trophy 3 times before, the squad will be eyeing another win in a bid to dethrone Karnataka which holds the champions title currently.
The appointment of Ramesh Powar as the coach of Mumbai has also ended months of a tussle within the Mumbai Cricket Association forcing a delay in the former spinner's appointment. The Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) led by Lalchand Rajput had pushed forth Ramesh Powar's name for the position of coach following Pagnis' resignation whereas the association threw weight behind Mumbai's former skipper Amol Muzumdar for the same post, sparking a controversy.
Former MCA chief Salil Ankola and other selectors of the association then sought former BCCI chief Sharad Pawar's intervention in the matter to settle the debacle. As per reports, Pawar had suggested following the Constitution of the cricketing board which dictates the CIC to handle cricketing matters, hence, paving way for Ramesh Powar's appointment.
Crucial in Mumbai's Ranji Trophy win back in 2002-03, Powar also went on to represent India at the international level. The former off-spinner represented Mumbai in first-class cricket for 16 years making a name for himself in the domestic squad. Across 31 ODIs, Powar picked 34 wickets and also played the IPL till 2012. In 2015, he announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Powar has also coached the Indian women's team prior to his new stint with the Mumbai squad.
Earlier in January, the Mumbai Cricket Association put out its list of probable players for the tournament which includes over 100 names. The final squad for the Vijay Hazare Trophy is expected to be announced by Tuesday. The probable squad includes several notable names including those who have represented India at the international level. Young opener Prithvi Shaw, who struggled to find his form in Australia, tops the list of 104 players and is followed by Shivam Dube and Surya Kumar Yadav, who was a key performer in Mumbai's 2020 IPL victory in UAE. Sarfaraz Khan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dhaval Kulkarni and Siddhesh Lad have also found a spot in the squad list. Notably, Arjun Tendulkar, son of batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, has also earned himself a place in the probable squad.
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