Former Mumbai wicket-keeper batsman Vinayak Samant has edged ahead of the seemingly incumbent Ramesh Powar to become the coach of the Mumbai Ranji side. The Mumbai Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) decided to proceed into the going season and onwards with Samant after what has been a lot of discussions and considerations with the MCA managing committee.
Earlier, CIC had touted the former Indian spinner Powar to be the next coach, but his irksome behaviour and remarks landed him in hot water and consequently the MCA had to issue a mandate a few months ago, according to which Powar was prohibited from being in charge of any coaching assignment after he critically commented on the association in an unpleasant tone and also left his role as the academy’s spin consultant mid-season.
“All candidates were discussed. The MCA managing committee had passed a resolution earlier which says that MCA can’t consider candidates who leave their job mid-season for any other coaching role. Powar had resigned as academy coach mid-season last time. The CIC felt that it’s better to go with Samant as he knows the players and understands the system well. Under him, Mumbai even won the under-23 national championship,” MCA joint secretary Unmesh Khanvilkar said.
According to the Indian Express, the managing committee consulted the MCA’s CoA, comprising retired justices Hemant Gokhale and VM Kanade, over finding a way past the resolution so as to tip the scales in favour of Powar who was prior to the incidents and even during the determination of the new coach was held in high regard and was front in line to get the gig.
However, Samant was incredibly grateful of the opportunity present to him, knowing that the lead-up to the decision hinted at Powar being the favorite to come out ahead, he said, "I wasn’t expecting to get the job. After all, Powar was my competition and he has played for India. I like to thank the CIC and MCA, who showed their trust in me.
I have been coaching for a while now and oversaw the title-winning Mumbai under-23 team as well. I always felt the coach’s responsibility is to see things are done in order. I have been part of so many Ranji wins and we won them all because we just followed the process, doing the right thing at the right time.”