Balwinder Singh Sandhu, a prominent member of India's 1983 World Cup-winning squad, will be the new coach of the Orissa Ranji Trophy team for the upcoming season, Orissa Cricket Association secretary Asirbad Behera said.
The OCA signed a seven-month agreement with Sandhu. The former India and Mumbai medium pacer will take charge of the team from October 15, according to Behera.
"The appointment of an outstation and professional coach was necessitated in view of the state Ranji team's disappointing performance last season, when it slid from the Elite to the Plate division of the national championship," Behera said.
Behera said the OCA had almost finalised the appointment of former Test batsman Ashok Malhotra as Orissa coach but it did not subsequently materialise.
Sandhu, who is remembered for the ball which uprooted West Indies opener Gordon Greenidge's stump in the 1983 World Cup final, replaces Ajit Jayaprakasham, who had coached the state team for several years.
The OCA secretary said Sandhu also agreed to train the junior state teams.
Orissa has been grouped along with Goa, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Sourashtra and Services in Plate B in the ensuing season.
Except for the match against Services, Orissa's other four ties will be held at Cuttack. The first four-day match against Goa will be played from November 23 to 26.