Calcutta: It was in 1993-94 when Ravi Shastri held aloft the Ranji Trophy. Nine seasons later, the former India captain may not be directly associated with the Mumbai campaign but he was just as thrilled to see his very own team lift the crown for the 35th time.
Shastri felt coach Chandrakanth Pandit played a key role in the Mumbai triumph this season. “I have seen Chandu from close quarters for a long time. He is a shrewd coach and guides the boys really well,” Shastri observed.
He went on to add that Pandit can develop into one of the best coaches in the country. “I feel he should be given charge of the India A team straightaway,” Shastri said.
Shastri remarked Pandit did a wonderful job in getting the boys together and help them perform as a unit. “They are a young lot and really gelled well.”
Shastri also had a word of praise for captain Paras Mhambrey. “He is a very hardworking cricketer and is now reaping the harvest. It’s good to see him booking a place with the legends of Mumbai cricket,” Shastri said.
Shastri had a special mention for Avishkar Salvi, one of the finds of the season for Mumbai and India. “He has done really well and that augurs well for the future of Mumbai cricket.”
Mumbai had beaten Bengal in the 1993-94 final. There are two players in the current squad who were in Shastri’s Ranji-winning team — Nilesh Kulkarni and Amol Muzumdar.
Between Shastri’s success and Mhambrey’s, Mumbai had won the Ranji twice — in 1996-97 under Sachin Tendulkar and in 1999-2000 under Sameer Dighe.