After the much anticipated appointment of Anil Kumble as the Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team, BCCI declared its decision of retaining Sanjay Bangar and Abhay Sharma as Assistant Batting and Fielding coaches, respectively.
A recent press release by BCCI stated, “In consultation with Mr. Anil Kumble, Head Coach, Indian Cricket Team, the BCCI has appointed the following assistant coaches for India’s tour of West Indies, 2016: Assistant Coach (Batting) – Mr. Sanjay Bangar, Assistant Coach (Fielding) – Mr. Abhay Sharma”.
Sources confirmed the absence of any Assistant Bowling Coach, by virtue of presence of Head Coach Anil Kumble, who happens to be the highest wicket-taker for India.. Ajay Shirke told Mid-Day, “Anil himself is one of the greatest bowlers. He insisted on not having a bowling coach for the West Indies tour since he is in charge.”
Bangar, former Railways batsman and Indian all-rounder, was appointed as the assistant batting coach back in 2014 during the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series in England. He, interestingly, is the only member of the support staff who came on board when Ravi Shastri was made Team Director in 2014. He has also held the position of head coach of the IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab since 2014. His contract as assistant batting coach was terminated after the conclusion of the World T20 in April, but he was put in charge of the Indian team on an interim basis for the recently concluded tour of Zimbabwe.
Abhay Sharma, a name which hasn’t been in the news for long, happens to be Bangar’s former Railways colleague. He has previously worked with Rahul Dravid and the India A and Under-19 teams. He was also among the Rest of India staff when they beat Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai in the 2016 Irani Cup. The former Railways and Delhi wicket-keeper batsman has also been a coach for the Himachal Pradesh team. It wasn’t long before he got his maiden assignment with the senior Indian team in Zimbabwe.
A lot of names like Praveen Amre, Vikram Rathour were doing the rounds but BCCI decided to stick with recently tried and tested faces as they will be able to provide Kumble with inputs, necessary to him as a new coach. Kumble will look forward to capitalize on his first assignment as the Head Coach, as India play four test matches against West Indies in the upcoming tour of the Caribbean, this July and August .