Rajkumar Sharma is Virat Kohli's childhood coach and he will now be heading the bowling department. (Image credit: Twitter)
Virat Kohli's childhood coach, Rajkumar Sharma, will now play a big hand in developing Delhi's next cricketing talents. Sharma, who is the first and only personal coach of Virat Kohli, will now be heading the bowling department as Delhi look to make a big impression in the upcoming season of the Ranji Trophy. Sharma, a dronacharya awardee, has played nine first-class and three List A games for Delhi between 1986 to 1991. Under 54-year-old Sharma, the Delhi junior team had won the CK Nayudu (U-23) Trophy in the 2017-18 season and players like Hiten Dalal made the senior grade. When he wasn't given a senior team assignment last year, he took up a short term assignment with the Malta national team for an ICC qualifying tournament.
However, the more interesting appointment for Delhi will be the return of KP Bhaskar as the coach of the side. Bhaskar was Delhi's coach during the 2017-18 season when they lost to Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy final at Indore. However, a public bust-up with Gautam Gambhir during the Vijay Hazare tournament in Odisha led to his ouster after the former India star had accused him of promoting factionalism in the dressing room while trying to end careers of a few young players. Bhaskar and Gambhir had a heated altercation after Delhi’s campaign ended with allegations of former India captain abusing the coach, something he has categorically denied.
Mithun Manhas replaced Bhaskar during the 2018-19 season where the team didn't particularly do well. Back in his playing days, Bhaskar was a domestic heavyweight for Delhi, scoring 5443 runs in 95 first-class games with 18 hundreds. He was a part of the Delhi team that won the Ranji Trophy in the 1988-89 season and also played the final against Bengal next year (1989-90).
Gambhir was handed a suspended four-match ban from first-class cricket for his ugly confrontation Bhaskar. An enquiry committee constituted by Delhi and Districts Cricket Association administrator Justice Vikramjit Sen, comprising chairman Madan Lal, Rajendra R Rathore and advocate Soni Singh found Gambhir guilty and termed the batsman’s behaviour as “serious” and “inappropriate”.
However, Sen decided to “suspend the punishment for a period of two years ending on 30th March 2019” conditional on Gambhir accepting this order and not committing any similar transgressions.