Chandrakant Pandit has been appointed as the head coach of IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, which is owned by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan.

Pandit’s appointment was announced in a social media post on Wednesday. He will be replacing Brendon McCullum, who quit the position to take over the role of England’s head coach for Test cricket.

“I am excited about the quality of the support staff and the players who are part of the setup and I am looking forward to this opportunity with all humility and positive expectations”, 60-year-old Chandrakant Pandit said.

Who is Chandrakant Pandit?

Chandrakant Pandit, born in September 1961, is known to be a Ranji Trophy veteran. He recently guided Madhya Pradesh to their maiden Ranji Trophy title, having won the national championship multiple times with Mumbai and Vidarbha.

The right-hand batter has been part of the Indian squad for five Test games and 36 ODIs. He played these games between 1986 to 1992.

He made his Test debut on June 19, 1986 against England. India won the match against England, and eventually the series with a tally of 2-0.

Chandrakant Pandit, who was also a wicket-keeper, made his ODI debut for India against New Zealand at Sharjah in the Austral-Asia Cup on April 10, 1986. 

Chandrakant Pandit also opened up a cricket academy at the Hansraj Morarji Public School in Mumbai. In addition to the recent Ranji Trophy win for Madhya Pradesh, Pandit also won the title in 2018 and 2019.

Chandrakant Pandit will be taking on the Kolkata Knight Riders, a team that has won the IPL title twice. In an interview to PTI, Pandit had said that he had once had a meeting with KKR’s principal owner Shah Rukh Khan during the early years of IPL but back then he had made it clear that he wasn’t keen to join support staff as an assistant coach.