Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on Thursday confirmed appointing the former Indian cricketer Amit Pagnis as the head coach. Pagnis will join the Mumbai Team for the curtailed 2020-21 domestic season starting with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will begin from January 10 with the finals slated to be played on January 31.
Lalchand Rajput headed Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) selected Pagnis for the role with a motive of their successful 2020-21 season.
Sulakshan Kulkarni, who was already with the team turned down the offer of his term contract about to end on March 31 in 2021. He stated that it was not feasible for him to join the team on such a short notice.
“While greatly appreciating the faith reposed on me it will be extremely tough for me to derive greater excellence from players at such short notice with (only) a few days’ preparation prior to the commencement of the BCCI first-class season which is expected to begin from January 2021 and end in March 2021.
“Hence, as a former player and coach of the Mumbai Ranji team, I express my gratitude to the CIC, the MCA and its officials for considering (me) as a coach. However, such a short duration (of his appointment) and my pre-commitments, restrict my options to accept such a high-profile job of coaching for now. As always, (I’m) committed to serve the game of cricket,” he concluded.
Speaking to TOI, Pagnis said: “I feel good. It’s definitely a big responsibility. I have a short time to prepare the team, but it should not be a big problem, because some of the boys in the Mumbai team played in the IPL. Having been a part of the system (he was the Mumbai under-23 coach for two years and was the batting coach at the MCA’s BKC academy last season) for the last few years, I know most of the boys well. I understand that the team hasn’t done too well in the last two seasons, but that doesn’t matter. It’s about how we do this season. I’m confident that the team will put up a good show.”