Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) has roped in Saurashtra’s Niraj Odedra as the national team's head coach on a short-term basis with an eye on qualification for the T20 World Cup in 2024 in the West Indies and the United States. (More Cricket News)
Odedra has been part of Saurashtra's coaching staff since 2015 and was the team's head coach in the current season.
Alongside former India A and current NCA coach Sitanshu Kotak, Odedra contributed immensely to the rise of Saurashtra as a formidable red-ball outfit over the past decade, culminating in the team's maiden Ranji Trophy triumph in 2020.
Though Saurashtra could not make the Ranji knock-outs in a curtailed 2021-2022 season, they managed to qualify for Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 knockouts for the very first time besides making the semifinals in the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy.
“It is a big responsibility and big honour to be part of Bermuda's national team. I also thank the Saurashtra Cricket Association for letting me take up this huge opportunity in the off-season (in India),” the 47-year-old told PTI.
Odedra, who played 26 first-class games for Saurashtra between 1998 and 2003, flies out to Bermuda, a British island territory in the North Atlantic Ocean, on Monday. Odedra's contract with BCB runs from July 1 to September 15 but there is a possibility that he might return to the British overseas territory for a longer stint.
Cricket is not new to Bermuda as it has been an ICC associate member since 1966 and famously took part in the 2007 ODI World Cup when the national team also got to play against India.
Odedra has been brought in to take the team back to the World Cup stage with the focus firmly on the 2024 T20 ICC showpiece in the Americas.
Soon after landing in Bermuda, he will start working with a group of 35-40 players to prepare for the ICC T20 World Cup qualifying event next year. The team is ranked 34th in the latest ICC T20 rankings.
“The main target will be to beat the likes of Canada, who will be our main rival in the qualifying competition,” said Odedra.