Sujith named head coach of Uttar Pradesh

Mansur to handle bowling and fielding departments

Sujith named head coach of Uttar Pradesh

Former India batsman Sujith Somasundar and ex-Karnataka pacer Mansur Ali Khan have been appointed head coach and bowling coach respectively of Uttar Pradesh.

Following a forgettable Ranji Trophy season, where they failed to register a single win under coach Mritunjay Tripathi, Uttar Pradesh will now be guided by the two former Karnataka team-mates in the Vijay Hazare Trophy (50 overs) and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament.

"A couple of coaches suggested my name to the UPCA. I was interested and I suggested MAK's (Mansur) name. They were okay with it and that's how we came on board," said Sujith.

Sujith, who coached Kerala from 2012-14, said he is ready for the job. "When I worked with Kerala, I was happy to have made a difference on the individual front. Many players enjoyed success and I also learnt to handle the expectations of associations. I am not new to the dynamics of coaching and I am eager to work with UP," said Sujith, who also led Karnataka.

The contract for the duo is currently for the two tournaments. They will join the team on Monday and a camp is set to begin in Lucknow from Tuesday. UP will begin their Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy campaign against Rajasthan in Raipur on January 9.  

Sujith didn't read too much into the sloppy show of UP in this season of the Ranji Trophy. "The talent is indeed there in UP and many players have gone on to play for India in the past. So there is no pressure in handling the current crop of players and I am taking up the job as a challenge," he offered.  

Mansur, the bowling coach of Karnataka in 2012-13, played his part in the team winning six trophies the following two seasons. "The main aim will be to fine-tune the mindset of the players like how JAK (J Arun Kumar) and I did with Karnataka players. They have some good players and they won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy last year. So we will look at the positives," said Mansur, who will also don the role of the fielding coach.

Mansur's fine rapport with Arun worked well for Karnataka. The former medium pacer said he is looking forward to working with Sujith. "He (Sujith) was my captain when I played for Karnataka and he would often throw the ball to me when we needed wickets. I know him well and he is a great motivator," Mansur said.

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