Guwahati, July 7: Former International Gursharan Singh of Punjab will take over as Assam Ranji coach for one season, the Assam Cricket Association announced today.
Making the announcement this evening, ACA secretary Bikash Baruah said Singh confirmed his availability through an e-mail last week and he would soon be visiting Guwahati to discuss the composition of the senior team which will have only two outstation recruits this year.
He has agreed to our terms and conditions and will come next week. He was preferred over Samir Dighe and Bhaskar Pillai who were also keen to come. Initially the contract is for a year and continuation will depend on performance. We hope to do well, Baruah said.
The ACA secretary, however, declined to comment on the time frame as to when Assam would make the elite group from plate group. We are doing our best. The rest is on Gods will and players, he said.
Singh will succeed Sanath Kumar of Karnataka, who was in charge for three seasons, the highlight being a semi-final appearance of the plate group in the 2006-2007 tournament. Singh will be the second international player to coach Assam, the first being Mumbaikar Lalchand Rajput, who was part of the India senior team that won the Twenty20 World Cup.
Though Singhs international career did not go beyond a One-Day International against Australia in 1990 and a Test match against New Zealand in 1990, he was prolific scorer in the domestic circuit, having served Punjab and North Zone with distinction. Punjab had won the Ranji Trophy under his captaincy.
In his bio-data sent to the ACA to prove his utility to Assam, the 1963-born Singh said, I would like to add that Punjab won the Ranji Trophy under my captaincy for the first and last time. He also stated that as Punjab Ranji coach last season, the team managed to stay in the elite group despite 15 regular players joining the rebel Indian Cricket League. Singh has been in coaching for 13 years. He was coach of the North Zone Zonal Academy and Delhi under-25 and under-17 teams before coaching Punjab last season.