Chandrakant Pandit is a tough caretaker it is no secret for Indian cricket now. The six Ranji Trophy titles in his cabinet as head coach – the latest for Madhya Pradesh after defeating 41-time champions Mumbai – prove that there are not many people to question his methodology. Madhya Pradesh captain Aditya Srivastava was also part of the majority. In fact, Pandit and Aditya Srivastava, by the former’s own admission, share a “special bond” that goes well beyond the professional coach-captain relationship. If there was any doubt about the bond between these two, the following information will settle them all. Srivastava was about to get married last year and he had come to take the permission of the Pandit as an obedient ward. The coach allowed two days of ‘scenic’ leave to complete the rituals and return to training.
“To reach the top, one has to make sacrifices. Last year when Aditya was getting married, he came up to me and asked what should be a good time and I told him that I would give him only a period of two days. for the festivities,” said Pandit, giving another glimpse of the no-nonsense tough taskmaster he’s been into for years.
The smiling young captain said, “I got married last year, but I haven’t even taken 10 days off with my wife.”
The coach quipped, “I told him for success, you need to work hard for a long time. It’s like a mission.”
Life came a full circle for the decorated coach on Sunday. It was at the same Chinnaswamy Stadium where he lost the Ranji Trophy final against Karnataka 23 years ago as the captain of Madhya Pradesh.
“Every trophy gives satisfaction but this one is special. I couldn’t do it years ago (23 years) as an MP captain. In all these years, I have always felt that I have given up on something here. That’s why That I am a little more excited and emotional about it,” a clearly weary pundit said after his latest Ranji Trophy win.
(with PTI inputs)
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