Former India leg-spinner Sairaj Bahutule will coach Gujarat in the forthcoming season of domestic cricket. The Indian Express understands that the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) had approached Bahutule to come on board before the season kicks off in the coming months.
The 46-year-old, who had been involved with teams like Kerala, Bengal and Rajasthan Royals in a coaching capacity earlier, had wished to coach Mumbai and applied for the job. However, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is yet to decide on the name of their new coach. It is learnt the GCA approached Bahutule a few weeks ago and he agreed to coach their team.
The GCA previously used to rely on local coaches for their Ranji Trophy side, but wanted an experienced hand this season. With Bahutule, the GCA felt their team will move forward. “He is an experienced coach and brings a lot of cricket with him. The team was looking for a coach who brings experience and, at the same time, can communicate with this young team. Bahutule is perfectly suited for it and his understanding of domestic cricket is immense,” a source privy to the development said.
A formal announcement will be made this week. Meanwhile, Sulakshan Kulkarni is likely to be appointed Mumbai coach for the coming season. The MCA ad-hoc committee had a meeting recently where former players like Dilip Vengsarkar were consulted. With Bahutule accepting Gujarat’s offer, the MCA was left with two candidates – last season’s coach Vinayak Samant, who had reapplied for the job, and Kulkarni.
The former Mumbai wicketkeeper-batsman had coached Mumbai earlier as well but was shown the door in 2014 after an early exit from the Ranji Trophy.