Shashikanth appointed new Karnataka coach

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Former Karnataka batsmen PV Shashikanth and GK Anil Kumar have been appointed the state team’s coach and assistant coach respectively. The duo replaces the highly successful combine of J Arunkumar and Mansur Ali Khan.

Shashikanth played 51 first-class games and scored 2397 runs at an average of 31.53, including four hundreds, before retiring in 1999. A former captain, Shashikanth also led a depleted Karnataka side to an Irani Cup title in 1996-97. The 43-year-old Anil Kumar, on the other hand, played five first-class games in a career spanning from 1998-99 to 2000-01. In 2014, he turned out for the Rockstars side in the Karnataka Premier League.

The KSCA said their appointments were “unanimous decisions” of the board’s managing committee.

“They (Shashikanth and Anil Kumar) have been coaches of various age groups of the state for more than a decade,” KSCA said in a release on April 26. “The KSCA also acknowledges the contribution of the former coaches Mr J Arun Kumar and Mansoor Ali Khan for their stint as coaches of the senior state team for the last five seasons.”

Currently involved in the IPL as Kings XI Punjab’s batting coach, Arunkumar is one of the most successful coaches in the domestic arena. While he was eventually elevated as head coach, he and Mansoor were initially appointed as batting and bowling coaches respectively in July 2012 to replace K Jeshwanth. The duo did not have to wait long to taste success, as Karnataka bagged the treble of domestic titles – Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup and Vijay Hazare Trophy – in 2013-14 before repeating it the following season.

In 2015-16, however, Maharashtra snapped Karnataka’s three-year unbeaten run as the defending champions failed to make the knockouts of the Ranji Trophy. Karnataka made the quarter-finals in the 2016-17 season before losing to Tamil Nadu, and finished on top of the Inter-State T20 League’s south zone table.

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