Former national selector Devang Gandhi has been appointed head coach of the senior Delhi team for the upcoming domestic season, DDCA announced on Saturday.
Gandhi, who had played three Tests for India in 1999, was a senior national selector from 2016-17 to 2020-21 season.
V Arvind will be bowling coach, Bantu Singh will be batting coach and recently retired Punit Bisht is new fielding coach of the senior team.
He was currently coaching the Bengal U-19 team but as per senior DDCA sources, they wanted someone from outside Delhi, who doesn’t carry any baggage and also comes with a clean slate.
“Devang Gandhi is a respected name in Bengal cricket and although he doesn’t have coaching experience at senior level, the DDCA president Rohan Jaitley received a lot of positive feedback about him from influential quarters. Hence the names of Maninder Singh, Ajay Ratra, Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma weren’t considered,” a senior DDCA official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“If the names of Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma would have been considered, a former Delhi and India stalwart, who has a zero tolerance approach towards anyone linked to the match-fixing scandal, would have created a ruckus. Gandhi is a Level 2 certified coach, is known to work with juniors and he can build a new team,” the official added.
With no Dhruv Shorey and Nitish Rana available from this season, Gandhi will have challenging task of galvanising a young team whose nucleus comprises Yash Dhull, would-be captain Himmat Singh and all-rounder Harshit Rana, all three future India prospects.
Meanwhile, Robin Singh Junior is once again the chairman of senior selection committee but controversial Mayank Sidhana, who was sacked midway through last season after ugly altercation with Gagan Khoda is back in the committee. Another surprising name is former Services captain Sowmik Chatterjee and it is still not clear how he made the cut.
DDCA president Rohan Jaitley has also created a ‘High Performance Group’ of coaches where Gursharan Singh, who was a member of CAC last time, has become the chief batting coach.
Former Delhi pacers Parvinder Awana and Sumit Narwal are bowling coaches while Rishabh Pant’s childhood coach at Sonnet Club, Devender Sharma is the new wicketkeeping coach.
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