India domestic news August 3, 2015

Sairaj Bahutule to coach Bengal

Sairaj Bahutule has had coaching roles with Vidarbha and Kerala previously © AFP

Sairaj Bahutule, the former India legspinner, has been named coach of Bengal.

"Sourav [Ganguly] called me up to work with the team," Bahutule, who was handed a two-year contract, told ESPNcricinfo. "[Coaching] a Ranji Trophy team is always a challenging job, so I wanted to do that. I wanted to sort of enhance my career as a coach as well, and it's a good team to work with."

Cricket Association of Bengal joint-secretary Ganguly told PTI that former Bengal pace bowler Ranadeb Bose will assist Bahutule.

Bengal had approached Lalchand Rajput to replace Ashok Malhotra as coach before zeroing in on Bahutule.

Recently, Bahutule had been working with the Mumbai Under-23 team, on the recommendation of newly-appointed Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit. "I worked with them [Mumbai U-23s] for two weeks, and then I got this opportunity of taking care of a Ranji Trophy team," Bahutule said. "I hadn't signed anything with the Mumbai Cricket Association." PV Shetty, joint-secretary of the MCA, confirmed that the association will find a replacement for Bahutule.

Forty-two-year-old Bahutule, who featured in two Tests and eight ODIs for India between 1997 and 2003, coached Vidarbha immediately after his retirement from first-class cricket in 2013. He also coached Kerala the following season.

Arun Venugopal is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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