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Former India keeper Sameer Dighe appointed Mumbai coach

Mumbai were highly successful under Chandrakant Pandit, winning the Ranji Trophy in 2015-16 and making the final the following year ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Sameer Dighe, the former Mumbai and India wicketkeeper, has been appointed Mumbai coach for the 2017-18 domestic season. Dighe, 48, replaces Chandrakant Pandit, who coached Mumbai to a Ranji Trophy title in 2015-16, and followed that up with a final appearance last year.

The decision to appoint Dighe follows sweeping changes in the Mumbai set-up that saw Ajit Agarkar replacing Milind Rege as chairman of selectors last week. The Mumbai Cricket Association's Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) picked Dighe over the incumbent Pandit, and former Mumbai batsman and CIC chairman Pravin Amre. Agarkar chaired the meeting on Friday, as Amre, by virtue of being a contender, stayed away from the decision-making process.

"Looking at the current scenario, we just wanted something new and it was a general consensus, actually," Amol Muzumdar, a CIC member, told ESPNcricinfo. "The whole thing about all the meetings that have happened in the last week or so, we always felt that there was a need for fresh faces and fresh outlook… hence, Sameer, who hasn't been tried at all. There have been changes made to the coaching staff in the under-23, 16 and 14 age-groups, and this goes with that."

Dighe, who played six Tests and 23 ODIs, had a first-class career that spanned 11 years, during which he led Mumbai to the Ranji Trophy title in 1999-2000. Following his retirement in 2001-02, Dighe took up coaching assignments and worked with Mumbai Indians as fielding coach.

He has also had a stint with Tripura's Ranji Trophy side apart from serving as batting coach at the BCCI's zonal academy. "It's a great honour to be the Mumbai coach," Dighe told ESPNcricinfo. "It is a big responsibility as well, and I will be honest with my job. I am looking forward to this."

According to Muzumdar, there could be changes made to the support staff. "Amogh Pandit, the head trainer of the MCA academy, has been entrusted with the responsibility of shortlisting people for the trainer's job," he said. "We have left it to him as he is an expert, and we have left the job of shortlisting candidates for the physio's role to Mr Anand Joshi. Ultimately, the CIC would decide about the trainers and the physios."