After plenty of deliberation and drama, former India opener WV Raman was appointed as the India women coach on Thursday, ending weeks of speculation.
The 53-year-old will be succeeding Ramesh Powar, whose interim tenure ended rather acrimoniously after a fallout with veteran batter and One-day International captain Mithali Raj. The southpaw made a smooth transition from former player to coach and has been widely praised for his work behind the scenes.
For the uninitiated, here is all that you need to know about Raman.
- Raman, later in his career, would go on to become a batting consultant but started out as left-arm spinner before becoming an opening batsmen
- Raman, who played for Tamil Nadu was easily one of the most sought-after names in domestic cricket in the late-80s. In the 1988-89 Ranji Trophy season, he beat the then all-time record for most runs in a season, tallying an aggregate of 1018 runs which included two double centuries and a triple against Goa.
- His induction to international cricket was memorable. Playing in front of Chennai home crowd against West Indies, he top-scored in the second innings with a steely 83 batting at number three and earned the rare distinction of picking up a wicket in is first over. Legendary pacer Courtney Walsh was his first Test wicket. That match though is remembered for debutant spinner Narendra Hirwani’s staggering 16-wicket haul.
- Raman’s international career, though, was unremarkable to say the least following his domestic exploits. He missed out on his first Test hundred by four runs against New Zealand at home in 1990. Raman ended his career, which spanned 11 Tests, without a century.
- He did not earn great rewards in One-day International cricket either but became the first Indian batsman to score a century against South Africa after they were reinstated. That effort, a patient knock of 114, came at the spicy Centurion wicket.
- Despite losing his place in the side to a more promising Vinod Kambli, Raman made a late fightback in his career. His last Test was against South Africa in Cape Town in 1997. His last ODI was also against the Proteas. He hung up his boots after being dropped by Tamil Nadu in 1997
- Years later, Raman resurfaced. He was appointed the head coach of Tamil Nadu between 2006-’09, mentoring the core of future India men stars such as Dinesh Karthik, S Badrinath and R Ashwin.
- He also had a stint with Bengal for three years between 2010 and 2013. He had started his coaching career with them as well, back in 2001, shaping the side that would go on to reach back-to-back finals in 2005-’06 and 2006-’07.
- Raman was a regular feature in the IPL dugout too. He assumed the role of an assistant coach with Kings XI Punjab in 2013 and was the batting coach during Kolkata Knight Riders’ title-winning 2014 season.
- Since 2015, he was appointed as the batting coach of the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. He had also served as the interim coach of India U-19 team since 2017, deputising for head coach Rahul Dravid.