Chandrakant Pandit will have to step down as Rajasthan Cricket Association’s Director of Cricket to take up the newly-appointed role as BCCI’s junior selection committee chairman. Board secretary Sanjay Jagdale confirmed the fact that as one of five paid selectors on the national junior panel, he cannot be associated in a professional capacity with any state association. “I am stepping down from my role with Rajasthan cricket, in keeping with regulations governing national selectors,” said the former India wicket-keeper/batsman, for whom working in tandem with Sandeep Patil and take Indian cricket forward is an opportunity of a lifetime.
Terming his senior teammate on the India and Mumbai squads as an astute man-manager, Pandit said: “Sandeep Patil has a knack for keeping players together and get the best out of them. Having toured with him for India and played under him for Mumbai, I can confidently state that he made a very good captain. He was able to manage players and both seniors and juniors were comfortable under his charge.”
Pandit kept wickets for India on the 1986 England tour and figured in Patil’s last ODI game at Old Trafford.
Both excelled for India and Mumbai, before turning mentors for Madhya Pradesh in first-class cricket at the insistence of the late Madhavrao Scindia. As player and later coach in first-class cricket, Patil and Pandit displayed their talent for moulding raw talent, later the experience helped them graduate into management roles for India Senior and coaching role for India A respectively. Pandit observes: “Having witnessed first-hand his ability to handle the big names in Mumbai and Indian cricket, Sandeep Patil’s appointment as a senior selector, following his stint at the NCA, will be useful. As a junior selector, my aim will be to work as a team to plan for the U-19 World Cup. India is the defending champion.”
Patil, 56, averaged 39.93 in 29 Tests for India, earning fame as an attacking middle-order batsman of his time. Aussie pace great Dennis Lillee and fearsome Len Pascoe got a taste of the timing and power at
his command, in the course of an astonishing 174 at Adelaide. He averaged 24.51 in 45 ODIs and was one of the 1983 World Cup triumph performers, slaughtering England pace and swing attack in the semifinals, rattling up 51 not out off 49 balls. Four years later at the 1987 World Cup, Pandit was in the thick of action standing upto Kapil Dev and company against England in the semi-final defeat at the Wankhede stadium.