A day after dissolving senior selection panel, DDCA to sack coach Abhay Sharma

A day after dissolving the men’s senior selection panel, the DDCA has now decided to sack senior team coach Abhay Sharma for underwhelming show in the ongoing domestic season.

“Yes, we have decided to sack coach Abhay Sharma for poor show this season and for no clarity and planning,” a senior DDCA official told News18 Cricketnext.

Earlier, the DDCA sacked the entire men’s senior selection panel after the team’s underwhelming performances in the ongoing domestic season and the questionable approach and practices of the three-member committee chaired by former India cricketer Gagan Khoda, and also featuring former cricketers Mayank Sidhana and Anil Bharadwaj.

The writing was on the wall for the Khoda-led panel as they continued to send jumbo squads – 20-22 members – and constant changes in the Playing XI and batting order didn’t impress the management of the cricket association, led by Rohan Jaitley. In a scathing email to the apex council and CAC, President Jaitley highlighted the lack of “vision” from the selection panel.

“I am stood compelled to write this mail for placing on record my disapproval on the manner in which the Men’s Selection Committees of the DDCA are discharging its affairs. It appears that such Committees are functioning without any visions and mission. The issue of manner in which players are being selected and replaced at the drop of a hat has become talk of the town,” wrote Jaitley in the strong-worded email seen by News18 Cricketnext.

“I am aghast at the manner in which the Selections are being done and the selection committee is conducting itself,” he added.

The discussions on the selection table going public has not pleased Jaitley one bit and the DDCA chief was quick to highlight Mayank Sidhana and Gagan Khoda’s war of words in the media over selection of the Delhi U-25 team for the CK Nayudu Trophy.

“I have also come across various messages circulating on social media as well as some media reports about a tiff between the Selectors. Having disagreements and discussions is one part, however, having tussles and taking those issues to public domain is another issue,” added Jaitley.

Jumbo squads

The jumbo squads across the senior teams – U-25 and the senior team – was another issue in selections and Jaitley felt the committee is doing a “disservice to the game of cricket”.

“Despite clearly informing the Committee that the number of players shall be restricted to 15-16 players, the committee has time and again recommended 20-22 member squad for each team. Therefore, these committees are not only doing disservice to the DDCA but also to the game of Cricket,” Jaitley wrote in his email.

The way forward

While the season looks well and truly over, senior Delhi teams can salvage some lost pride in the upcoming U-25 CK Nayudu Trophy and remaining fixtures of Ranji Trophy – India’s premier domestic tournament. The Yash Dhull-led senior side has three fixtures left – two home games against Andhra and Mumbai and away fixture vs Hyderabad.

The senior men’s team next takes on Andhra in a home fixture at the Arun Jaitley Stadium starting on January 10.

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The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) is set to sack senior coach Abhay Sharma following the dissolution of the senior selection panel on Wednesday.

This decision comes as part of DDCA’s ongoing internal restructuring, which will include the appointment of a new selection panel for the senior team. The new panel is likely to be in place by the end of this week, and is expected to serve for a period of one year.

The move to sack Sharma follows the controversy surrounding his appointment as coach of the senior team in 2017, when he won a court case against former Delhi Ranji coach KP Bhaskar over the position. The DDCA then chose to appoint Sharma against the wishes of many.

The controversy surrounding Sharma’s selection compounded after his reported spat with KXIP player Mayank Agarwal, who plays for the city side. Following the confrontation in August 2018, senior players in the side expressed misgivings over Sharma’s appointment, with one of them reportedly stating that he was “not fit to be a coach”.

The decision to sack Sharma is being seen as part of DDCA’s attempt to implement a new brand of cricket in the capital, where the association is hoping to increase its fan base by providing a cleaner game.

This change in mentality is also apparent in the new selection panel, which will include former players such as Atul Wassan and Amit Bhandari, who will be granted the power to not only select the teams, but also oversee their performance.

With the sacking of Sharma and the formation of the new selection panel, the DDCA is hoping to infuse a newfound energy into the team, and make it one of the best in the country.

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