Star Indian domestic coach Chandrakant Pandit was left in tears after he helped his home state of Madhya Pradesh win their first Ranji Trophy title on June 26. While the 60-year-old has won the elite domestic title on five occasions previously as a coach, this was the first time he did so with MP.
Despite not entering the final as the favourites, Madhya Pradesh humbled domestic powerhouse Mumbai by six wickets in what was a one-sided Ranji Trophy final. What made the win even more special for Pandit was that he helped his home state win the trophy on the same ground he lost the final as a player 23 years ago. Following MP’s historic maiden Ranji Trophy final, several netizens took to social media to laud the star coach.
As they completed the victory, Chandrakant Pandit was flooded with memories (not happy ones), which he hasn’t been able to erase for over two decades and despite winning five trophies as a coach. It was at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in the summer of 1999 when MP, despite a first-innings lead of 75, failed to win the game as Pandit, a proud captain, finished his playing career in tears.
While Chandrakant Pandit’s emotions were full on display after he realized his Madhya Pradesh side had gotten the job done, his post-match interview was even more heartening. “It is a great memory that I had left 23 years back and it is a blessing that I come back here, and winning this trophy was fabulous. It is emotional because I missed out as captain on the same ground. It is not a particular reason but I look for a challenging job where the teams are not doing well,” said Pandit.
Pandit then went on to explain the journey he has had with Madhya Pradesh, both as a player and a coach, by adding, “I used to play for MP and played for them for six years. I knew the culture and the offer which came to me in March. I did not hesitate. There were a couple of offers but I chose MP because I had left something 23 years back and God willingly brought me back to the same state.”