Rames Powar is likely to be the next Mumbai Ranji coach. The former India off-spinner was chosen as the right candidate by the MCA’s cricket improvement committee (CIC) following a lot of deliberation. The CIC’s decision, however, wasn’t made public owing to a loose comment made by Powar in the past about the MCA, which came back to haunt him. The 40-year-old had criticized the MCA for having a “lack of creative freedom” during his tenure as the spin coach at their academy. This led to the association’s managing committee passing a resolution a few months ago, wherein Powar was barred from being given any coaching assignment. This resolution had led to Powar not being roped in by any franchise during the inaugural Mumbai T20 League with the MCA keen on their former mainstay serving a one-year ban.
Powar though was only one of three local coaches to be shortlisted after the MCA insisted on not being keen on an outstation coach. That decision put a premature end to former India wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra’s ambitions of taking over the reins of the most successful domestic team in Indian cricket history. The MCA had even extended the deadline for inviting applications for the coach’s post but that didn’t make a difference to the lukewarm response.
Powar had competition from former wicket-keeper Vinayak Samant and pacer Pradeep Sundaram. There was some talk during the day of former India batsman and Mumbai coach Pravin Amre being brought back into the mix. However, his position with the Delhi Daredevils franchise meant that itcould lead to a conflict of interest issue.
The CIC, chaired by former India pacer Balwinder Singh Sandhu, asked the MCA to consider a scenario where they demand an apology from Powar, and subsequently and move forward with his appointment. If Powar refuses to apologize, then the CIC can always go ahead with giving the role to Samant.
“The meeting was adjourned as no decision was taken today. The CIC heard out all candidates but they needed more time before finalising the name of the coaches (junior and senior) for the forthcoming season. The final appointment of coaches will be made formal by Thursday evening,” MCA’s joint secretary Dr Unmesh Khanvilkar said.
Powar played two Tests and 31 ODIs for India and was a longstanding servant of Mumbai cricket before moving to Gujarat towards the end of his domestic career.
Meanwhile, The Indian Express has learnt that the CIC will be appointing former all-rounder Wilkin Mota, who was chosen among eight candidates, as the Mumbai under 19 coach.