‘I left something 23 years back’ – Chandrakant Pandit after guiding MP to historic Ranji Trophy victory
Pandit was the captain of Madhya Pradesh when the team made the Ranji Trophy final last time back in 1999.
Updated - Jun 26, 2022 6:20 pm
Madhya Pradesh (MP) lifted their maiden Ranji Trophy 2021-22 title on June 26, Sunday, after beating 41-time winners Mumbai at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. The last time MP were in the Ranji Trophy final was in the 1998-99 season under the captaincy of their current head coach Chandrakant Pandit, which they lost at the same venue against Karnataka.
Speaking about the final loss in 1999, Pandit said that it was emotional missing out on the trophy as the captain of the team. He thinks it is all “god’s blessings” that they came back to win the trophy in Bengaluru after 23 years. “It’s a great memory which I left 23 years back on this ground. I think it’s all God’s blessings that we come back here and win this trophy which was fabulous,” Chandrakant Pandit told Star Sports.
I decided to go back to MP because I left something 23 years back: Pandit
“I always look for challenging jobs when the team isn’t doing very well. There are a lot of youngsters in the team and I probably want to develop that culture for a particular state. Particularly about MP, I played for this team for almost 6 years. I knew the culture so didn’t turn down the offer that came to me in March,” said former India wicketkeeper-batter.
“I had a couple of offers but decided to go back to Madhya Pradesh because I left something 23 years back and probably, God was willing to bring me back to the same state,” added Pandit.
Chasing 108 for victory, MP defeated Mumbai by six wickets. It was all set up in the first innings by MP, thanks to centurions Yash Dubey, Shubham Sharma and Rajat Patidar, helping them take a huge lead of 162. Mumbai’s top performers Sarfaraz Khan and Shams Mulani, as they have been throughout the season, once again put on a show, with Sarfaraz scoring a valuable 134 and Mulani picking up a five-wicket haul, in the first innings. MP’s fourth-innings chase was completed in 29.5 overs, and it was opener Himanshu Mantri who top-scored with 37 runs.