But on Thursday, much to his pleasant surprise, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was named the head coach of the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led young and inexperienced limited-overs India squad for next month’s tour of Zimbabwe.
Bangar’s Railways Ranji Trophy team-mate Abhay Sharma has been named the fielding coach. Neither Bangar nor Sharma were aware of their appointments until dna broke the news to them on Thursday evening.
The BCCI, in its release late in the evening signed by newly-appointed secretary Ajay Shirke, said: “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed Mr. Koka Ramesh, a former cricketer and Zonal Secretary of the Andhra Cricket Association, as the Administrative Manager of the Indian team for the tour to Zimbabwe.
“Mr. Sanjay Bangar has been appointed as the Head Coach of the Indian cricket team for the forthcoming tour to Zimbabwe, which commences on the 8th of June comprising 3 One-Day International matches and 3 T20 International matches to be played in Harare.
“Mr. Abhay Sharma has been appointed as the fielding coach of the team.”
Bangar and Sharma needed time for the totally-unexpected appointments to sink in, and waited for the official intimation from the board, which reached them in due course.
While 43-year-old Bangar, along with Shastri, Arun and Sridhar, formed the Indian team’s support staff from August 2014 until the recent World T20, the 47-year-old Sharma was the fielding coach of the India Under-19 team for the World Cup in Dhaka earlier this year with Rahul Dravid as its coach. He was also a coach of the Rest of India squad that won the Irani Cup against Mumbai in March this year. Sharma was at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for the Under-23 camp when this correspondent broke the news of his first appointment to the senior national team.
India play three ODIS on June 11, 13 and 15 followed by an equal number of T20Is on June 18, 20 and 22, all at Harare Sports Club in Harare.
While the appointments of Bangar and Sharma are only for this short tour, the BCCI is expected to hire a long-term coaching staff before India’s tour of the West Indies after placing advertisements.