Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday (August 17) appointed former India wicketkeeper-batsman Chandrakant Pandit as its head coach.
In June, Pandit, who played five Tests and 36 ODIs for India in the 1980s and 90s, took Madhya Pradesh to its maiden Ranji Trophy title. Earlier, he had won India’s national first-class championship multiple times with Mumbai and Vidarbha.
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The 60-year-old Pandit will replace New Zealander Brendon McCullum, who coached the two-time IPL champion for three seasons and was appointed as England coach in May.
This will be the first time that Pandit will be coaching an IPL side, and his first assignment will come in IPL 2023.
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After Pandit had taken MP to Ranji Trophy win, former KKR captain Dinesh Karthik had hailed him as “Alex Ferguson of Ranji Trophy” comparing him to English Premier League football club Manchester United’s former coach Ferguson, who won 13 Premier League titles with the side.
Lovely pictures @BCCI
Couldn’t be happier for CHANDU sir . Amazing
– Understanding personality traits
– Preparing them accordingly
– Using them tactically to win championships 🏆
ALEX FERGUSON of RANJI trophy #GOAT https://t.co/N7CdX3WU2b
— DK (@DineshKarthik) June 26, 2022
Making the announcement, Venky Mysore, CEO of KKR said, “We are very excited that Chandu is joining the Knight Riders family to lead us through the next phase of our journey. His deep commitment to what he does and his track record of success in domestic cricket, is there for everyone to see. We are looking forward to his partnership with our skipper Shreyas Iyer, which promises to be an exciting one.”
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Accepting the new challenge, Pandit said, “It’s a great honour and privilege to be given this responsibility. I have heard from players and others who have been associated with the Knight Riders, about the family culture, as well as the tradition of success that has been created. I am excited about the quality of the support staff and the players who are part of the set up and I am looking forward to this opportunity with all humility and positive expectations.”