handrakant Pandit was on Sunday hailed as ‘Sir Alex Ferguson of Ranji Trophy’ as accolades poured in for the coach after guiding Madhya Pradesh to their maiden title.
Having lost the trophy as captain of Madhya Pradesh in 1998-99, Pandit enjoyed sweet redemption when his wards emerged victorious over 41-time champions Mumbai at the Chinnaswami Stadium in Bengaluru.
This was Pandit's sixth Ranji title as coach, after having won three with his home state Mumbai and two with Vidarbha.
Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik, who has reinvented himself as a finisher in India's current white-ball setup, led the praises for Pandit, comparing him to the iconic Manchester United manager Ferguson who has won 13 Premier League Championships with the Red Devils.
"Lovely pictures @BCCI, Couldn't be happier for CHANDU sir. Amazing, Understanding personality traits, Preparing them accordingly, Using them tactically to win championships. ALEX FERGUSON of RANJI trophy #GOAT," Karthik tweeted.
India ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin hailed Pandit's success and wrote: "Chandrakant Pandit. That's the tweet."
Centuries from Yash Dubey, Shubham Sharma and Rajat Patidar in the first innings derailed Mumbai who were all out for 269 in their second innings.
Sharma and Patidar then chased down 108 in 29.5 overs to make it a historic day for Madhya Pradesh.
"Many congratulations to Madhya Pradesh on winning the Ranji Trophy. Great focus and determination to beat 41-time champion Mumbai. MP deserves all the laurels and glory, have some bright talent and this is truly a historic day for them," wrote former India opener Virender Sehwag.
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri also acknowledged Pandit's feat: "To go across 3 states and win Ranji trophies is a remarkable achievement and a true reflection of his dedication and commitment to the job. Well done Chandu," Shastri said.
Veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra also congratulated the MP head coach for the massive achievement.
"What a journey for this legend Chandrakar Pandit..Lost the Ranji Final in 1999 as a captain but won it today as a coach. Life gives you everything but in its own sweet time. Really happy for MP captain Aditya Shrivastav and the whole MP team for winning first Ranji Cup ever," Mishra tweeted.
The Ranji Trophy was held in two phases on either side of the IPL and BCCI secretary Jay Shah acknowledged the tremendous effort it took for MP to win the title.
"Congratulations Madhya Pradesh on winning the #RanjiTrophy2022! We've witnessed some terrific performances throughout the season. Great efforts by everyone @BCCI for ensuring another successful Ranji season amidst the pandemic," Shah wrote.
MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also praised the performance of the side.
"We are the champions," Chouhan's congratulatory note read.