‘New’ DDCA braces up for new season

The regime, headed by Rajat Sharma, is keen to infuse transparency and professionalism as cricket takes off at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Wednesday.

The Ferozeshah Kotla stadium in New Delhi will host Group B matches of the Vijay Hazare Trophy from Wednesday.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Cricket takes off at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Wednesday under the new regime of the Delhi and District Cricket Association. For DDCA president Rajat Sharma these are testing times as he takes charge with some new ideas and plans. “I am happy that the dust has settled and DDCA is on a roll,” says Sharma.

The Delhi team will have Parwinder Awana as the new bowling coach. “We are having open trials so that every player gets a chance. The selection process has been completed. Preparations for the league cricket are underway,” adds Sharma.

Sharma insists the DDCA has assumed a professional look. “Members are welcoming that there is zero tolerance for corruption. There is no place for any disruptive activity. The new DDCA stands for transparency and professionalism. We are working in tune with BCCI to improve cricket in Delhi.”

No interference in selection

To ensure transparency and accountability, Sharma says, “The process of picking the best was completely left to the selectors. There was no interference in their work. I had an open meeting with selectors in presence of coaches and managers and told them that selection should be fair and strictly on merit. They should ensure that there was no favouritism.”

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The DDCA president cited the appointments of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) as progressive steps at the Kotla. “These people have an impeccable record of having served in government and private organisations. There is a Finance Committee to look into all purchases. E-tendering has been introduced. We have appointed GM (Operations) to look after the needs of the players. I want the players to focus on their cricket and leave the rest to the professionals.”

Sharma claimed cricket in the country’s capital will soon be restructured. “We are working on a plan to create a Cricket Academy. It will be discussed at the Executive Committee meeting soon. Good news is that a number of former Delhi players have promised that they will give their time (at no cost) for coaching at the DDCA Academy.”

The DDCA, asserted Sharma, was ready to adopt the Supreme Court directed reforms in totality and in its true spirit. “The Draft Constitution of DDCA in line with new BCCI constitution as well as Supreme Court judgement is ready. Our CEO has worked on it, with inputs from some committee members and cricketers, with a team of legal experts,” he said.