India news September 25, 2011

Kaif quits as Uttar Pradesh captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mohammad Kaif has stepped down as captain of Uttar Pradesh [UP] after six years in the role. He would like to remain a part of the side, he said, as a batsman.

"I am happy with my stint as captain of the UP side. In the last six years, we reached four finals and once won the [Ranji] title," Kaif told Times of India in Bangalore, where he is with Royal Challengers Bangalore for the Champions League T20. "But now I want to play just as a batsman. I informed him [UP Cricket Association secretary Rajiv Shukla] about this after the Challenger Trophy. There is no dearth of talent in the state. Whoever is chosen [as the next captain], I will support him."

India batsman Suresh Raina has been named captain, while RP Singh will be his deputy.

Kaif was named captain for the 2005-06 domestic season, leading UP to their maiden Ranji title that year, as well as the final of the domestic one-day tournament, which they lost to Railways. UP has made two Ranji finals under Kaif since, losing to Delhi in 2007-08 and Mumbai in 2008-09.

UP play their first Ranji fixture of the 2011-12 season against Punjab from November 3.