Ending all speculations, Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) has opted for ‘vocal for local’ policy and appointed Trevor Gonsalves as the coach of the Vidarbha Ranji team for the upcoming season.
The 48-year-old Gonsalves will replace the famous and most successful Vidarbha coach ever Chandrakant Pandit. The Mumbai-based Pandit ended his three-year tenure with the Vidarbha early this year.
Under the guidance of Pandit, Vidarbha senior team did the magic by winning back-to-back Ranji Trophy and Irani Trophy titles. However, Pandit could not complete the ‘hat-trick of titles’ in the previous season as Vidarbha failed to reach the knock-out stage also.
After the completion of his eventful three-year stint with the Vidarbha side, Pandit now became the coach of Madhya Pradesh Ranji team this season. Earlier during his playing days around two decades ago, Pandit had led MP to great heights with his dynamic leadership qualities.
Gonsalves was the coach of the VCA U-23 team which won the Col CK Nayudu Trophy 2019-20 played at Indore in March, 2019. The brilliant efforts of Gonsalves with the U-23 outfit helped him seal the coveted post of Vidarbha Ranji side this season. There was a talk among the VCA members regarding hiring an outstation senior coach this year too but due to truncated forthcoming season, they might have dropped the idea.
It will be a challenge for Gonsalves to live up to the expectations of local cricket fans and fill the huge void created by Pandit’s absence. Gonsalves’ elevation as the senior Vidarbha team coach from U-23 side meant VCA has trusted the credentials of former Vidarbha medium-pacer.
Gonsalves played 12 First-Class matches for Vidarbha in the early nineties. The right-arm seamer also represented Vidarbha in 11 List ‘A’ matches.
The executive committee of VCA in its meeting on Monday reviewed the upcoming BCCI tournament’s calendar, starting with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament to be held from January 10 to 31, 2021 as announced by BCCI on Sunday.
The executive committee approved the appointment of Gonsalves as coach of the senior team for this tournament. The executive committee approved the payment of prize money to the victorious U-23 team of Rs 5 lacs each to the playing eleven of the finals and the coach. The other players have been given Rs 3 lacs each and the support staff Rs 2 lacs each.
The felicitation function and the announcement of the prize money could not take place earlier because of the prevailing Covid -19 situation at that time. The executive committee has decided to hold the felicitation function as and when the situation permits.