Mott heads to Kolkata as Buchanan's IPL assistant March 26, 2008

Mumbai pick up exciting Ronchi for three years

Cricinfo staff
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Luke Ronchi will be wide-eyed when he joins the star-studded Mumbai squad © Getty Images
 

Luke Ronchi, the big-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman, will join Mumbai for next month's Indian Premier League after signing a three-year deal with the franchise. Ronchi owns a 56-ball century with Western Australia, a domestic one-day record, and his all-round skills are perfectly suited to the Twenty20 format.

Mumbai have Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, Harbhajan Singh and Shaun Pollock in their squad and Ronchi, who has a strike-rate of 176.97 in his 12 abbreviated matches, is looking forward to joining them. "I can't wait to get over there and start training with the likes of Tendulkar and Jayasuriya and try to gain as much as I can from the wealth of experience they possess," Ronchi said.

"It will be a tremendous learning experience for me, not just in how to play Twenty20, but in all aspects of my game because I will be surrounded by so many champions. And there may be an opportunity to open the batting with Sachin in front of his home crowd in Mumbai - that would be the stuff dreams are made of."

While Ronchi has joined the IPL's playing ranks, Matthew Mott, the New South Wales coach, has accepted an offer from John Buchanan to be an assistant with Kolkata. Mott guided New South Wales' Pura Cup final victory last week and he will be in India for Kolkata's first game against Bangalore on April 18.

"It's going to be a great experience for him," Dave Gilbert, the New South Wales chief executive, told the Sydney Morning Herald. "They have a terrific side, and the opportunity to work with Buchanan will be beneficial for him.

"To be honest, our limited-overs form has been pretty ordinary in the last couple of seasons, and this is a great chance for Matt to go there and observe first-hand some of the game's innovations. There will obviously be some pretty interesting cricket being played, and he will be able to take note of it all and plan for our assault on the title next season."