New Delhi, March 30 (PTI): The Delhi & Districts Cricket Association will not be retaining the services of veteran coach Rajkumar Sharma after the senior state team’s dismal show in the past two domestic seasons.
Rajkumar, a Dronacharya awardee, is best known for being megastar Virat Kohli’s childhood coach.
After Delhi were handsomely beaten by Jharkhand and failed to qualify from their group, it was a foregone conclusion that Rajkumar will be sacked. The team finished last.
“The entire coaching structure of DDCA will be revamped and hence Rajkumar’s contract next season won’t be renewed,” a senior DDCA official, who is privy to policy decisions, confirmed the development to PTI.
Rajkumar’s tenure as the senior team coach is easily one of the worst in recent history of Delhi cricket.
Under Rajkumar, Delhi were outplayed in the Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy last year, failing to reach the knockouts in both the meets.
This year was worse as Delhi were knocked out of all the tournaments at the group league stage after losing some matches comprehensively.
It is understood that the kind of playing XIs that Rajkumar picked throughout his stint has left a lot to be desired.
Giving chances to non-performers and disinterested red-ball players also did not go down well with the top brass.
Questions are being asked as to why Ayush Badoni, a very good red-ball player, was ignored, pacer Simarjeet Singh, who is on ascendancy, not picked and raw talent like Mayank Yadav not given even one chance.
It is understood that DDCA president Rohan Jaitley is discussing with the relevant people to draw up a calender to revive Delhi’s red-ball cricket.
“We have appointed a committee comprising Madan Lal, Vinay Lamba and Sunil Valson, which will help in formulating a strategy going forward,” Jaitley told PTI in an interaction.
In fact, Jaitley wants to start a 100-day programme with focus on days cricket and identification of talent at the U-16 level.
“It is high time we introspect why after Rishabh Pant’s elevation to Indian team and Gautam Gambhir’s retirement, we haven’t groomed anyone in leadership role. It starts at U-16 and it’s a long-term process,” Jaitley said.
It was Jaitley, who had put his foot down to the opposition that was there in blooding young Yash Dhull, who hadn’t played red-ball in the run-up to Ranji Trophy.
It was the DDCA president who had asked the selectors to pick Dhull in the Delhi squad, and the India U-19 World Cup-wining skipper began his first-class career with nearly 550 runs in three games, including a double hundred and two hundreds.