Manoj Prabhakar appointed UP Ranji coach

Former India all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar has been appointed coach of the Uttar Pradesh Ranji Trophy team for the next two years. Additionally, the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) has also roped in former Zimbabwe pacer Heath Streak as consultant for their UPCA Academy in Kanpur. Prabhakar, who played 39 Tests and 130 ODIs for the national team, is rated as the “right” person to take charge of the UP team that consists a pool of young bowlers. “He (Prabhakar) knows the UP boys well and has a great knowledge of bowling. At the same time, he knows batting too which will help our team. He has prior experience as well since he’s coached teams like Afghanistan. He stays in Delhi, which is not far from Kanpur. After a lot of discussion, the UPCA thought he was right candidate for the job,” Rajiv Shukla said. The 53-year-old had earlier served as bowling coach for the Delhi team, followed by a stint as Rajasthan’s head coach. More recently, he served as the bowling coach of the Afghanistan team that competed at the T20 World Cup in March. The current UPCA team has the likes of Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav filling in the ranks, along with several upcoming pacers that have impressed in the past. Shukla says Prabhakar’s involvement will instill discipline to the side. “We had chat with Manoj and asked him about his vision, what he wants to do and how he wants to do it. We want him to improve our bowling and at the same time, the batting too. He has been aggressive and the UP team has a lot of international players playing the domestic season. Manoj will maintain the discipline in this team,” Shukla said. Meanwhile, Streak, who coached the Gujarat Lions in the recent IPL edition has been roped in as a consultant for a short-term. The former Zimbabwe captain was keen to help develop the new crop of players and Shukla says his expertise will help.
“He was in touch with me and with Suresh Raina as well. He wanted to help the UP team as it’s a land of bowlers. We have been lucky to get decent pacers in last decade. Streak will be coming before the Ranji Trophy season starts and will oversee the fifteen-day camp. He will be coming in between too, as he was keen to help the young cricketers. So we decided to use his expertise,” Shukla said. UPCA also appointed retd. Justice CK Prasad, who was justice of Allahbad High Court, as Ombudsman.

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