In 2010, Praveen Amre left Mumbai cricket after serving successfully as a coach for five years to spend time with family. It pained him to read about the team's poor season and controversies that followed and the former India cricketer decided to return to guide the team this season.
He may not have players like Amol Muzumdar, Ajit Agarkar, Nilesh Kulkarni or Ramesh Powar at his disposal now and will have to deal with a new set of youngsters trying to find a foothold in first class cricket with stalwart Wasim Jaffer still adding experience to the team.
On Wednesday evening, Amre met the Mumbai Cricket Association authorities to discuss what they expected from him.
"I came to know about my appointment through the newspapers. I wanted to meet the MCA authorities and discuss what they expected and tell them how I would like to go about my job. I believe it has to be a process. We have to start with preparations – off season with the probables — followed by match practice in different tournaments, fitness camps during monsoon, interact with the players, then pre-season tournaments followed by Ranji Trophy," Amre said after the meeting.
Talking about his decision to return, Amre said: "I quit after serving Mumbai for five years. It was a tough period. We had to handle the media, criticisms. I had to give time to my daughter as she was young. Being a Mumbai coach, I could have got a good package elsewhere but I wanted to be here. Even when Robin (Uthappa) asked for personal coaching, I told him to come down. I was just one call away, if Mumbai needed me I would have come. I am a die-hard Mumbai man. I know the importance of the cap. I want to be there to help the youngsters that's why I came back."
Apart from Ranji Trophy, Mumbai has been struggling in other formats and Amre will address it too. "Our focus should be there on one dayers and T20s too. These formats are important to players career as they could be considered for the next level," he said.
Amre said the goal while the primary goal is to win the Ranji Trophy, he would also strive to help players develop and prepare them for bigger challenges.
Mumbai's batting has been dependent on Jaffer. Amre feels the youngsters will have to pull up their socks. "Nobody can be compared with Wasim. He has enough experience and is a different player. The youngster will have to come up any how. That's why I again stress the importance of practice matches and pre tour season matches. To replace a good player you have to find good youngsters."
Is a turnaround possible this year? "The three titles under me were not fluke. It was a result of hard work and commitment by players. We would like to do the same with focus on the basics. A turnaround is definitely possible," he added.