Amit Pagnis has been appointed coach of the Mumbai team © BCCL
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on Thursday (December 17) appointed Amit Pagnis as coach of the Mumbai team for the shortened 2020-21 home season, which will start with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy from January 10, 2021.
Pagnis was nominated for the post by the Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC), led by former Indian forerunner Lalchand Rajput after CIC’s first pick, Sulakshan Kulkarni, for the second consecutive year, turned down an offer to coach Mumbai considering that his term would end on March 31, 2021, meaning it would only last three and a half months.
Talking with TOI, Pagnis said: “I feel good. It is definitely a big responsibility. I have little time to prepare the team, but it shouldn’t be a big deal, because some of the guys on the Mumbai squad played at the IPL. Having been part of the team. system (he was under 23 coach in Mumbai for two years and last season he was batting coach at MCA’s BKC academy) in recent years I know most of the boys well. I understand that the team does not have him In the last two seasons I have done too well, but it doesn’t matter. It’s about how we are doing this season.
On Wednesday, the MCA appointed Pagnis’ former teammate pacer Salil Ankola as the senior team’s chief selector. “I’m looking for my ‘reunion’ with him. He was my teammate at Sungrace Mafatlal in the 90s,” said Pagnis.
Meanwhile, Kulkarni, a former Mumbai wicketkeeper, had coached Mumbai for the Ranji Trophy title in the 2012-13 season. On Wednesday, in an email to all members of the Apex Council of the MCA and the CIC, Kulkarni wrote: “Respect sir, it is absolutely amazing to find your email / offer today mentioning the recommendation of the CIC, informing the my candidacy as a Mumbai Coach for such a short period of three months. I am extremely happy and honored that the decorated CIC has considered me capable of coaching the Mumbai Ranji team. ”
Citing the dangers of the job offer for such a short period, Kulkarni wrote: “However, with the theme of the renowned Mumbai team’s improvement and the background of its recent performance, (which is) not in line with its past. standards that include the legacy of the past, the time frame set for improving or expecting great performance is very inadequate. ”
Kulkarni stressed that it would be difficult for him to prepare the Mumbai team for national cricket on such short notice. “While I greatly appreciate the faith placed in me, it will be extremely difficult for me to achieve greater excellence from the players on such short notice with (only) a few days of preparation before the start of the first class season of the BCCI, which should start from January 2021 and end in March 2021.
“So, as a former player and coach of the Mumbai Ranji team, I express my gratitude to the CIC, the MCA and its officials for considering (me) a manager. However, such a short duration (of his appointment) and my pre-commitments, limit my options to accept such a high profile coaching job for now. As always, (I am) committed to serving the game of cricket, “he concluded.