"Left something 23 years back"- MP head coach Chandrakant Pandit recalls the 1998 final loss after winning the Ranji Trophy beating Mumbai in final
However, it was an emotional moment for every MP player, management, and their head coach, Chandrakant Pandit. The win in the finals took him back and recalled his memory of 23 years back, when he was leading Madhya Pradesh against Karnataka in the finals of the 1998-99 season at the very same venue.
However, MP couldn't win the title that season and lost the match at the hands of Karnataka by 98 runs. That was the last time Madhya Pradesh made it to the final of the Ranji Trophy until Chandrakant became the head coach of MP and led the group of young players, inspired them and made history.
This historic moment came with the help of Yash Dubey, Shubham Sharma, and Rajat Patidar, who made centuries each in the first innings. Then Mumbai got all out in their second innings for a score of 269. Then again, Shubham and Patidar anchored the chase of 108 runs in 29.5 overs with six wickets in hand.
After this historic moment, the MP head coach remembered the loss in the 1998-99 final and said that he had that unfinished task at this venue. While speaking to Star Sports, Pandit said that it is a big achievement and a great moment that he left 23 years back and that it is all God's blessing that they came here and lifted the trophy.
He also said that he takes it as a challenge when the team isn't doing well and there are a lot of youngsters in the team and he wants to develop them in the culture of this state. The MP head highlighted that it was the reason that he chose to coach the team.
Pandit further concluded, “I had a couple of offers but decided to go back to Madhya Pradesh because I left something 23 years back and probably, God was willing to bring me back to the same state."