Mohammad Kaif to lead Chattisgarh in upcoming Ranji Trophy season
Mohammad Kaif, India’s star all-rounder is set to lead newcomers Chattisgarh in group C of the Ranji Trophy for the 2016-2017 season. Kaif, who broke onto the scene when he captained the U-19 side that included the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Ajay Ratra to the Youth World Cup Trophy in 2002, is set for a new chapter in his playing career, after having endured an indifferent time with Andhra.
Kaif has had a prodigious first-class career. Having played for most of his career at his home state Uttar Pradesh, the 35 year old moved to Andhra in 2014 where he represented the side for two years, before making the move to Chattisgarh. Kaif who had a two year contract with an option of extending it for another season at Andhra, failed to impress in 2015-16, where he played 13 innings, scoring 330 runs at an average of 27.50. It was a torrid time for the Andhra team, who finished last in Group B and will play their cricket in group C the coming season.
Kaif will lead the Chattisgarh side, who will be the tenth team in Group C of the Ranji Trophy, under the leadership of newly-appointed head coach Sulakshan Kulkarni. Kaif has scored 9974 runs at an average of 39.89 with 19 100s and will surely breach the 10,000 run barrier in first-class cricket this season. He enjoyed an impressive international career, where he became a key member of the one-day squad for a number of years.
The Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh was recently elevated to full-member status in February after a special general meeting, paving the way for their Ranji Trophy debut in the 2016-2017 season.
Kaif took to Twitter to announce his delight at the new challenge:
It will surely be an interesting season for Kaif, who will face his former team Andhra in Group C next season.