Mumbai appoint former India pacer Salil Ankola as chief selector

Mumbai appoint former India pacer Salil Ankola as chief selector

MCA is also set to appoint a coach soon.

Salil Ankola
Salil Ankola. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Mumbai have appointed former cricketer Salil Ankola as their chief selector for the upcoming curtailed domestic season. In normal circumstances, the domestic season would have been going on in full flow at this time of the year. But the 2020/21 season is yet to get underway because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The much-awaited season, which will also resume high-profile cricket in the country, will start next month.

Salil Ankola has played one Test and 20 ODIs for India in addition to playing 54 first-class matches. The former pacer picked up 15 wickets in international cricket and 181 wickets in first-class cricket. Coached by English bowling great Frank Tyson at the BCA-Mafatlal Fast Bowling scheme, Ankola’s only appearance in Tests came against Pakistan in 1989 and interestingly, that match was Sachin Tendulkar’s debut game.

Meanwhile, the other members of Mumbai’s newly-appointed selection committee are Sanjay Patil, Ravindra Thaker, Zulfiqar Parkar and Ravi Kulkarni. In their official statement, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) also stated that it would announce the name of the coach shortly as the teams gear up for the domestic season.

“Ankola is a former India player who wanted to give something back to the game, which is why applied for the job and showed keen interest. Our committee made him the chief selector because we felt that he was the only former Test cricketer amongst the applicants,” said Lalchand Rajput, who headed MCA’s Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) which appointed the selection committee according to Cricbuzz.

“With this move, we have given a strong signal that we want more Test players to serve Mumbai cricket. Former cricketers who want to serve Mumbai cricket will be welcomed to do so by this committee. They will be respected and be given the opportunity to serve Mumbai cricket in various capacities,” he added.

Mumbai’s poor run in domestic cricket

The most successful team in Indian domestic cricket, Mumbai have struggled for consistency in recent seasons. They could not win any silverware last season. For the second season in a row last year, they could not reach the Ranji Trophy knockouts. Mumbai have not won the Ranji Trophy title since 2015/16.

Mumbai’s record in limited-overs format is not great either. They are still searching for their first-ever Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy while they won the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2018/19 which was their first triumph in the 50-over format since 2006/07 season. Mumbai will be desperate to lay their hands on the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for the first time in the upcoming season.

Meanwhile, the prospects of the Ranji Trophy taking place this season is looking bleak. The BCCI has already informed state associations that the domestic season will comprise, for the moment, just the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The tournament will start on January 10 with the final on January 31.