NEW HEAD COACH
“We were asked for our views on possible options for the post of Mumbai coach, physio and trainer.” © Getty
The Mumbai players have recommended the name of Omkar Salvi for the position of head coach, which has been left vacant after former India stumper Dighe quit. The younger brother of former India and Mumbai pacer Avishkar Salvi, Omkar, has been a bowling coach with the Mumbai senior team for the past four seasons. His contract ended after the last season. Interestingly, Omkar has never played for Mumbai.
According to sources, in a completely novel move, Unmesh Khanvilkar, the secretary of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), invited six top Mumbai players – skipper Aditya Tare, Suryakumar Yadav, Abhishek Nayar, Dhawal Kulkarni and Shardul Thakur for a meeting to discuss the “way forward for Mumbai cricket.” The idea, perhaps, seems to have been mooted by the Committee of Administrators (COA).
“It was a laudable initiative by the MCA. We were asked for our views on possible options for the post of Mumbai coach, physio and trainer. While we asked Khanvilkar to consult the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for the role of trainer and physio, all of us spoke in favour of Salvi as coach. He’s done an excellent job with the Mumbai team in the past four years. He was very helpful for all the players in all departments of the game. He would come earlier than everybody for practice, and was the last man to leave. Though he was a bowling coach, he would help out batsmen too by giving them throwdowns. He gave useful practice to us too. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of each one of us, and has seen our ups and downs. Having worked with three previous coaches of Mumbai – Pravin Amre, Chandrakant Pandit and Sameer Dighe – he has a fair bit of experience of coaching at this level. He coached a team during the Mumbai T20 league too,” a player told TOI on Wednesday. “If not him, then Amre, or Nayar (as a player-cummentor), would be a good choice,” he added.
“The final decision rests with the Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC), but we’re happy that we were asked too,” said another player. The CoA is set to meet new CIC chairman, former India all-rounder Ajit Agarkar, who’s also the chief selector on Thursday to discuss the issue. In another interesting development, MCA has now made yo-yo tests compulsory for the Under-23 and Ranji players. This despite the fact that they don’t have a physio and trainer in place for the senior team after Ashutosh Nimse and Pratik Kadam, who joined Mumbai Indians, quit their posts. To make it worse, Amogh Pandit, the trainer at the MCA’s BKC academy, too has quit.