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Saturday, June 30, 2001

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Vengsarkar nominated to key post

By Our Special Correspondent

MUMBAI, JUNE 29. After a gap of four years, Dilip Vengsarkar returns to hold a prestigious position in the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).

The elegant right hander, who scored 6868 runs in 116 Tests and 3508 in 129 one-day internationals, and led India in ten Tests and 18 one-dayers, was nominated chairman of the Mumbai senior selection committee. Vengsarkar who earned the sobriquet `Colonel', stepped down from the selection committee following his defeat (for the post of vice-president) in the MCA elections in 1996.

His colleagues in the senior selection committee would be Sudhir Naik and Abdul Ismail, many years his senior and Raju Kulkarni. Naik and Kulkarni have played for India, while Ismail has not. In a trailblazing move, the MCA managing committee last week appointed a `Cricket Improvement Committee' and asked it to name three selection committees and also coaches at four levels.

Apart from bringing back Vengsarkar into the mainstream of Mumbai cricket, the CIC named Lalchand Rajput as coach of the Ranji Trophy team, a decision which ended the three- year term of Ashok Mankad as coach of the senior team. Rajput, 39, will be wearing a new hat, though he is not a greenhorn at the job.

In fact, he has been a professional coach employed in Perth (Scotland) for nearly two decades. In recent times, he was part of the threesome - the others being Kiran More and Hemant Kanitkar - who assisted head coach Nari Contractor at the West Zone National Cricket Academy in Mumbai. A National Cricket Association (NCA) coaching certificate from England is an added qualification for him. Rajput is also an elected managing committee member of the MCA.

Rajput's colleague in the MCA managing committee, Chandrakant Pandit (also a CIC member) was named coach of the under-19 team. Former Mumbai stumper Subhash Bandiwadekar will be in-charge of the under-22 team. At the sub-junior level, Dinesh Nanavati has been named coach of the under-16 and Surendra Nayak will work with the under-14 team.

The committees:

Senior selection: M/s Dilip Vengsarkar (chairman), Sudhir Naik, Abdul Ismail and Raju Kulkarni.

Under-19 and MCA Colts: M/s Abdul Ismail (chairman), Ranjan Baindoor, Sanjay Patil and Deepak Jadhav.

Junior selection committee: M/s Abey Kuruvilla (chairman), Bharat Nadkarni, Tukaram Surve and Pradeep Kasliwal.

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