Ajay Ratra, former India wicketkeeper, has thrown his hat in the ring for the Mumbai Ranji team coach's job.

FORMER INDIA wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra has thrown his hat in the ring for the Mumbai Ranji team coach’s job. The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) had invited applications from candidates for Mumbai’s senior and under-19 teams, the deadline for which ended on Tuesday. Ratra is one of three former first-class cricketers, off-spinner Ramesh Powar and Mumbai wicket-keeper Vinayak Samant, to have applied for the senior team coach’s role.

Former players including Maharashtra’d Nandan Phadnis, Vidarbha off-spinner Pritam Gandhe and former Mumbai under-19 coach Vinod Raghvan are learnt to have applied for both jobs.

Ratra was coach of the Punjab Ranji Trophy team till last year. “I’m still to get clarity from Punjab whether they want me to continue or not. I checked with the association but they said there is some case date which is scheduled in the coming days. When Mumbai’s invitation came out, I straight away applied for it. It’s a big team and I felt I could contribute more. I can share my experience and get the best from the players there,” 36-year-old Ratra told The Indian Express.

MCA had overall received a very lukewarm response for the coach’s job to replace Sameer Dighe, who stepped down after only one year in office. Mumbai had a disappointing domestic season last year, failing to make a mark in any of the competitions.

Ratra played 6 Tests and 12 ODIs, all in 2002, and remained a mainstay for Haryana behind the wickets for nearly 15 years before calling it quits from first-class cricket following the 2012-13 season. Powar, who has played the role of spin consultant in the past, has expressed his desire to coach the Mumbai team, whom he represented with great success for many years, on numerous occasions in the past. His long-standing former teammate Samant, meanwhile, has coached the Mumbai under-23 team earlier.

Former off-spinner Gandhe has been a national junior selector while also having been involved in camps organised by the Zonal Cricket Academy.

Meanwhile,the MCA has received eight applications for the under-19 coach’s role. They include Suresh Shetty, Vikrant Gonnade, Usman Malvi, Pradeep Kasliwal, Kiran Powar, Sandeep Dahad, Santosh Saxena and Manoj Joglekar.

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