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'It is like I'm going to play my first Test'

October 14, 2009 19:23 IST

Sandeep Patil said he was pleasantly surprised when he was on Wednesday named as the new Director of Cricket Operation of the National Cricket Academy by the BCCI.

"I never expected this, it's a bolt from the blue.

It has been hinted that I would be given the charge of the proposed batting academy in Mumbai but this is an even bigger challenge," the 53-year-old former India batsman and coach told PTI.

"I'm excited and thankful to Board President Shashank Manohar and all the other members." Patil said the job has some great responsibilities with it and hoped of a good show.

"I'm extremely happy, but at the same time nervous too. I'm having butterflies in my stomach like I'm going to play my first Test. It's a very big challenge and I hope I can do justice to the job," he said.

Patil will take over from Dav Whatmore, who has quit the job and is tipped to become the coach of IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders.

"I would be shifting to Bangalore and take up my new job from November 1," said the player-turned-coach who guided Kenya to the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

Mumbai-born Patil represented India in 29 Tests and 45 ODIs between 1980 and 1986 and was a swashbuckling middle order batsman and a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad.

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