The ground staff at the Roshanara Club ground is busy. Three young men prepare the pitches for the nets, under the supervision of Sanjeev Sharma, the Delhi Ranji team’s chief coach, pending official sanction.

Announcement of his appointment is being held up due to differences between the executive committee and the sports committee of the Delhi and District Cricket Association.

Assistant coach Rajeev Vinayak, a First Class cricketer of repute, has stayed away from the training sessions for the very same reason. He has not received any official intimation.

The DDCA bosses have not found time to finalise the various selection panels, but the players and the coach have begun their preparation for the season in earnest.

Virender Sehwag’s presence galvanises the youngsters. Sharma has summoned a bunch of fast bowlers who are excited to bowl at Sehwag. He has words of praise for some of them.

Sehwag, who will lead Delhi in the upcoming NKP Salve Trophy tournament in Indore, is relaxed as he takes stock of the young guns.

Sharma says it is going to be a special season.

“It will help the players immensely if they perform well in the Salve Trophy. The juniors can learn from the seniors who have an important role to play.

The right platform

“It is a platform for those wanting to make a comeback, and for those wanting to establish themselves. It will help us identify the youngsters for the forthcoming season,” he says.

Chetan Chauhan, chairman of the proposed selection committee, says: “It is a long season, and we need to find avenues to keep the players fresh.”

Virat Kohli and Ashish Nehra are expected to join the training in a day or two, while Gautam Gambhir, Unmukt Chand and Sumit Narwal will be available for the tournament after finishing their current engagements.

Even as the players concentrate on the training, uncertainty regarding DDCA’s approval of the panel continues.

Former Test batsman Kirti Azad has said: “It is indeed shocking to see that some key executive committee members are exerting pressure on the sports committee to accept and recommend tainted names as ‘personal’ selectors and chairman of selectors, alongside a host of supporting staff and crew.

“Several parents are pressing hard for their personal choices to be anointed chairmen/selectors in the various age group teams to ensure that their kids definitely play.”

A senior DDCA official assures nothing of this sort will be allowed.

“We have picked men of integrity, and will finalise the panels on Thursday,” he says.

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