Kolkata, Aug 17 (IANS): Two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday announced the appointment of Chandrakant Pandit as their new head coach. Pandit, a former India wicketkeeper who featured in five Tests and 36 ODIs, was the head coach of Madhya Pradesh side who won the 2021-22 Ranji Trophy for the very first time.
Pandit has been a coaching stalwart in the Indian domestic cricket circuit, leading Mumbai to Ranji Trophy titles in 2002-03, 2003–04 and 2015-16. He went on to coach Vidarbha to Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup titles in 2017-2018 and 2018-19. He steps into the role vacated by Brendon McCullum, who exited KKR after the 2021 season to take the role of England's red-ball coach in April this year.
"It's a great honour and privilege to be given this responsibility. I have heard from players and others who have been associated with the Knight Riders, about the family culture, as well as the tradition of success that has been created."
"I am excited about the quality of the support staff and the players who are part of the set up and I am looking forward to this opportunity with all humility and positive expectations," said Pandit on his appointment.
In his playing career, Pandit was a part of India's squad for the 1987 World Cup and represented Mumbai, Assam and Madhya Pradesh in the domestic cricket circuit, winning Ranji Trophy twice as a player.
With his appointment as KKR's head coach, Pandit will be just the third Indian after ex-left arm pacer Ashish Nehra and former all-rounder Sanjay Bangar to be the head coach of an IPL franchise.
"We are very excited that Chandu is joining the Knight Riders family to lead us through the next phase of our journey. His deep commitment to what he does and his track record of success in domestic cricket, is there for everyone to see. We are looking forward to his partnership with our skipper Shreyas Iyer, which promises to be an exciting one," said Venky Mysore, CEO of KKR.