Jharkhand to miss services of coach Rajiv Kumar

Varun Aaron-led Jharkhand to face Rajasthan in its second Ranji Trophy match on Saturday.

Rajiv Kumar is away from duty to be with his ailing father.   -  Special Arrangement

Last year, when Jharkhand made it to the semifinals of the Ranji Trophy, its coach, Rajiv Kumar, had a key role to play. The former cricketer had made it a point to develop a team bonding that helped the side achieve success.

But in this edition of the Ranji Trophy, Jharkhand has missed out on the services of Kumar. With his father admitted to the hospital following a cardiac arrest, Kumar has been with his ailing father for the last few days. “I was in Thiruvananthapuram with the team for the tournament opener against Kerala, when the news came in. I had to rush back home,” Kumar told Sportstar.

In his absence, assistant coach Satish Singh has taken charge of the coaching duties. Jharkhand lost to Kerala by nine wickets in the series opener.

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Rajiv Kumar is unlikely to join the team for the match against Rajasthan starting in Jaipur on Saturday. “For the last few days, I have been in the hospital, and I am not too sure when I can join the side because it all depends on my father’s health,” Kumar said, adding that he has still made it a point to keep in touch with the players.

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“Every night I speak to them, chalk out plans and guide them on a few things. It also helps me mentally,” the coach said.

Even though the team lost its opening game against Kerala, Kumar is confident that his boys will turn the tide as the tournament progresses. “We have a good side and there is no reason why should not do well. The youngsters are really looking forward to deliver the goods for the team,” Kumar said.

When the ball gets rolling at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Saturday, it would be interesting to see how the team, led by Varun Aaron, handles things in a crucial match. Sitting far away, Kumar would be hoping for his wards to come good. 

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