For someone who was training Under-23 spinners in Australia, money was not the factor for which Ramesh Powar applied for the coach’s position of the Mumbai Ranji Team. It was only the relationship that he had with the team and the emotion attached to the ‘khadoos’ cricket that attracted the former off-spinner to the job.
However, on Thursday Vinayak Samant was named the coach for the senior team by Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). Sources cite that Powar who has played for India was definitely a ‘strong contender’ to take the job.
He was the last quality spin bowler for Mumbai and considering Mumbai's struggles in spinning department in recent times some thought he was best suited for the job. He was certainly the closest but the outcome was different but it hasn’t lowered Powar’s spirits. “Look, I have a lot of opportunities. I cannot control anything in such situations but I have not lost anything,” he says.
“Even if they call me tomorrow, I will go and help the team. I only applied for my passion for the sport and the city is close to my heart,” he adds.
For about 16 years, he served Mumbai with his off-spin. A conventional bowler in his field, Powar came from a humble upbringing which did not allow him the best training as a youngster. His own endeavours inspired him the most to apply for coaching role of the senior Ranji team.
“The reason why I was interested was because of what I have seen as a kid. I could have been a better bowler if not for my background. I wanted to share my experiences with the upcoming players. I can see the talent and I wanted to breach the gap,” says Powar who also has 34 wickets in 31 games in which he donned the Indian jersey.
Earlier this year in February, Powar had quit as the spin coach at the MCA's indoor academy at Bandra Kurla Complex. It was believed that this caused a rift between him and the association eventually hampering his chance to take up the job. Even there were few reports that MCA Management had passed a resolution not to give Powar coaching job.
However, MCA secretary, Unmesh Khanvilkar clarified their was no resolution passed against Powar. “There was no resolution against Ramesh Powar as such. The resolution is to not allow people who had already quit from a coaching role in MCA,” informs Khanvilkar referring to Powar's resignation from the spin coach in February.
The resolution was not intended to bar Powar. But the fact that he had quit halfway as spin coach hindered his chances. “There are not great differences between myself and MCA as such. Otherwise I would not have applied for the job,” says Powar. “It is an opportunity lost for both of us by the end of the day.”