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September 12, 2008
Venkatapathy Raju, the former Indian spinner, has been appointed Orissa's coach for the 2008-09 domestic season. Raju said he would take up the job if his term as national selector, which ends on September 27, is not extended.
The Orissa Cricket Association [OCA] confirmed the signing. "We hope that, under his [Raju's] guidance, Orissa will perform better in the Elite League of the national championship this season," the OCA secretary, Asirbad Behera, said in a statement. Raju will replace Abakash Khatua, who has been appointed fielding coach for the next season.
Orissa finished fourth in Group B of the Super League during the 2007-08 Ranji Trophy season. They start the 2008-09 season with the inter-district Kalahandi Cup one-day tournament, which is the selection trial for the Ranji squad probables, from September 15 to 24.
In another development on the domestic circuit, Karnataka offspinner Ryan Ninan has decided to play for Goa this season. Unable to get a permanent place in the Karnataka team, he has decided to move out. After being benched for the Moin-ud-Dowla tournament, Ninan did get a chance in the Buchi Babu Tournament, currently underway in Chennai, and took six wickets in the third game against Tripura.
Dodda Ganesh, the Goa coach and the former Karnataka medium-pacer, is believed to have played a pivotal role in influencing Ninan's decision to play for Goa.
"If you ask me who has the talent to play for India, I would say it's Ryan Ninan," Ganesh said. "Sachin Tendulkar was very impressed with him during the IPL trials. They [the Karnataka State Cricket Association] treated him very badly. I could understand his problems as I was also not given my due by the state association. Even when I wanted to get a NOC to play elsewhere, they kept delaying it. I don't want this young boy's career spoiled."
However, Brijesh Patel, the KSCA secretary, denied Ninan was treated unfairly. "He [Ninan] played in the Buchi Babu tournament also. Yes, there is competition, and it's a free world," Patel said. "He can go where he wants. Players have left their home associations before and they will do so in the future as well. I don't see what the problem is."
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