India news August 26, 2011

Bangar in race to coach Mumbai

Sanjay Bangar, the former India allrounder who currently plays for Railways, is among the applicants for the position of Mumbai's coach. The new coach will be appointed on Monday by the Mumbai Cricket Association's cricket improvement committee (CIC).

"I had applied at the end of the IPL," Bangar told ESPNcricinfo. "But I have not had any communication with the MCA after that."

Mumbai have been without a coach since former India batsman Pravin Amre quit earlier this year, following an underwhelming season in which the 39-time champions lost in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals to eventual winners Rajasthan. Former player Vilas Godbole has been filling in as stand-in coach for the Mumbai side playing in the ongoing Buchi Babu tournament in Chennai.

Mumbai-based Bangar is a domestic veteran having played 150 first-class matches in a career spanning 18 years and, at 38, is still an integral part of the Railways team. He was with the Kochi Tuskers Kerala franchise in IPL 2011 as part of the coaching staff.

If he is chosen as the coach, it would mean the end of Bangar's first-class career and his association with Railways as a player, something which he holds very dear. "If it happens, it is going to be a very tough decision for me. I have loved being part of the Railways side over the years."

MCA treasurer Ravi Sawant said the position of Mumbai coach was filled by invitation and therefore the candidates were not restricted to people who have applied for the post. "The Cricket Improvement Committee will meet on Monday and after deliberating will invite a suitable person to coach the Mumbai team," he told the Times of India. "This position is filled through invitation, and not application."

Balwinder Sandhu, member of the committee that will select the coach, was of the view that sufficient coaching experience counted when it came to mentoring the most-decorated domestic team in the country.

"I have always been of the view that we should call the candidates for interviews, ask them about their plans for Mumbai cricket and then decide," Sandhu said. "But that has not happened so far. We will take a call on the position soon."

When the CIC meet to decide on the new coach, former Mumbai players Sanjay Manjrekar, Milind Rege and Sanjay Patil will not be there as they have been removed from the CIC, with the MCA deciding on a fixed term for members of the committee. Rege and Manjrekar have been a part of the committee since its inception in 2001. "They said that we have completed eight years and we are no more required," Rege told Mid-Day. "I don't want to comment on their decision. But I will always be available for Mumbai cricket whenever required."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo