Pune appoint ex-India all-rounder Kanitkar as assistant coach

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) Former India all-rounder Hrishikesh Kanitkar has been appointed the assistant coach of newly-formed Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rising Pune Supergiants.

The 41-year-old, who was a regular in the Indian team from 1997 to 2000, retired from international cricket in July last year. He had played two Tests in the 1999-2000 season, apart from 34 One-Day Internationals (ODI).

He is best remembered for his heroics in the final match of the Independence Cup against Pakistan in 1998. The gutsy left-hander hit a boundary off Saqlain Mushtaq, when India required three runs to win from two balls, in fading light to enable them post a memorable victory over the arch-rivals in Dhaka, while chasing a 300-plus target.

With 8,059 runs in 105 matches, Kanitkar is among the top five highest run-getters in Ranji Trophy. He also captained the Rajasthan team to two Ranji Trophy titles.

Kanitkar also enjoyed a successful stint in county cricket. Playing for Brentwood Cricket Club in Essex in the 2006 season, the left-hand batsman scored over 1000 runs with an average of 76.

The Rising Pune Supergiants, to be led by India’s limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, have already named former New Zealand starter Stephen Fleming as their head coach.

Pune and Gujarat Lions are the two new teams in the IPL this year. They have replaced two-time champions Chennai Super Kings and inaugural edition winners Rajasthan Royals, who have been suspended for the next two years due to match fixing and corruption.

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