Nanavati named coach - Assam ropes in NCA man for Ranji team, Khan gets U-19

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By Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 30.08.04

Guwahati, Aug. 30: Former Saurashtra first-class player and the National Cricket Academy’s West Zone chief coach, Dinesh P. Nanavati, was nominated coach of the Assam Ranji Trophy team.

The decision to rope in Nanavati, who is also the coach of the Mumbai under-19 team, was taken during Sunday’s governing body meeting of the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) in Barpeta. The contract, however, was yet to be signed.

The ACA also decided to hand over the responsibility of the state under-19 team for the Cooch Behar Trophy elite Group-C to Nanavati’s predecessor Abdul Jabbar Khan.

Assam will open their Ranji elite Group-B campaign against Baroda at home on November 7.

Apart from Nanavati, the ACA had shortlisted another name for the hot job — former international Saradendu Mukherjee of Bengal. The retired spinner donned the national colours during a Sharjah tournament in the early Nineties.

If all formalities were cleared, Nanavati would join his new team in the first week of October after Assam’s exposure tour of the south, a source said.

The state senior team will participate in the Moin-ud-Dowla Trophy in Hyderabad from Friday. It participated in the Karnataka State Cricket Association’s all-India invitation MRF Trophy in Bangalore and the Buchi Babu Trophy in Chennai.

Nanavati, who opened and donned the gloves for Saurashtra from 1977-78 to 1983-84, is the fourth coach in as many seasons for Assam.

The chopping and changing began with former captain Rajesh Borah in 2000-01, followed by former Test player Lalchand Rajput in 2001-02 and Khan in 2002-03.

Khan was appointed as Rajput pulled out of his contract after he was elected joint secretary of the Mumbai Cricket Association.

During his first-class career, Nanavati played 32 matches and scored 1,562 runs from 54 innings at an average of 31.24. He remained unbeaten in four innings, while his career-best score was 88.

The excellent keeper took 59 catches and had eight stumpings to his credit.

ACA secretary Bikash Baruah said the decision to engage a wicketkeeper-batsman as coach was taken to prepare a quality glovesman on the sidelines to succeed Syed Zakaria Zuffri.

Sources said the first choice after Zuffri would be Guwahati teenager Mriganka Jyoti Sarma, but he has not matured for senior meets.