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Coach too busy to train Ranji team
- State outfit looks for new mentor from Jharkhand to fill void

Former India medium-pacer Subroto Banerjee has expressed his inability to continue as the coach of Jharkhand Ranji team, prompting the state cricket outfit to begin a hunt for a new mentor for its senior players.

Banerjee, who nourished the state senior outfit last season, has already informed Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) about his unavailability for the ensuing season, apparently owing to a host of other commitments.

According to JSCA sources, the state association was ready to offer Banerjee an extended run and intimated the same to him at a meeting in New Delhi last month.

“Banerjee has informed us about his unavailability. He has some busy assignments, including mentoring Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun. We would have liked him to continue. We were even willing to offer him a fresh contract after his term ended this May,” JSCA secretary Rajesh Verma told The Telegraph.

An experienced mentor, Banerjee donned Bihar, Jharkhand and Bengal jerseys during his career as a player, apart from representing the national team in a Test and a few ODIs. He also served the East Zone as an all-rounder.

However, he has earned more praises as a mentor and is credited with shaping up fast bowlers like Umesh Yadav. He had developed a good rapport with senior cricketers during his yearlong stint with the state outfit.

Another JSCA official said apart from Arjun’s training, Banerjee was also associated Vidarbha Cricket Association, Nagpur, and some other cricket outfits in the country as well as abroad. “It would have been difficult for him to hop from one place to another and train players properly. All his assignments are very important and needed proper attention and time. So he informed the JSCA about his unavailability,” he added.

With Banerjee moving out of the field, JSCA has begun the hunt for a new coach in the right earnest for the 2014-15 season.

“Yes, we are in search of an experienced mentor. We’ll put more emphasis on Jharkhand candidates with a proven track record. There are some candidates who have adequate experience to train our senior players,” Verma said.

When asked if the name of any outstation mentor was also being considered, he replied in the negative. “Jharkhand has some good coaches and we don’t think we have to look beyond the state this time. Some of our coaches have already have had a stint with junior sides. We may promote the right candidate to fill Banerjee’s shoes,” he added.