Cricket

Nostalgia time at the Kotla

CATCHING UP WITH FRIENDS: Pradeep Gupta, K.P. Bhaskar, Rajinder Singh Chawla, Kartar Nath, Suresh Batra, Radhey Shyam, Tarak Sinha, Sharvan Kumar and Kamal Juneja at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

CATCHING UP WITH FRIENDS: Pradeep Gupta, K.P. Bhaskar, Rajinder Singh Chawla, Kartar Nath, Suresh Batra, Radhey Shyam, Tarak Sinha, Sharvan Kumar and Kamal Juneja at the Ferozeshah Kotla.  

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Thanks to the new steps initiated to make the organisation transparent in its functioning, the Ferozeshah Kotla on Thursday saw some visitors who were making an appearance at the venue after many years.

The occasion — interviews conducted to pick coaches and selectors for various age groups including the senior squad — brought together names from the past, not necessarily big on the national circuit, but significant contributors to Delhi’s domestic cricket.

The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), under fire from all quarters for its style of functioning over the past decade or so, decided to interview candidates aspiring to serve the various state teams. It was welcomed by most, even though it kept many players out of the loop due to the conflict of interest clause introduced for the first time in DDCA, obviously keeping in mind the Lodha Committee Recommendations.

For Tarak Sinha, the noted coach from Sonnet Club with a long list of pupils who played for India and various state teams, it was an occasion to see some of his wards and some contemporaries.

“I stayed away from Kotla all these years because the place lacked cricket culture. I wanted to see the changes being talked of by most cricket-loving people of the capital. Transparency will bring quality and competence to the way cricket is run. I hope good will come out of this new method of appointing the support staff and selectors,” he said.

Sharvan Kumar, who worked tirelessly to teach the finer points of the game to Test fast bowler Ishant Sharma, was delighted to catch up with Sinha. “I loved the friendly ambience today. It felt nice to meet some old friends. There was cricket in our discussions and emotions while remembering the days gone by when we all worked for the good of Delhi cricket,” said Sharvan.

Veteran coach Radhey Shyam, who prefers to be now known as a cricket promoter, hoped things would change at the Kotla. “I have seen the steady deterioration in the administration. The expectations now are high mainly because the cricketers feel confident of getting respect at the Kotla. I will keep my fingers crossed until the changes become evident in the forthcoming season,” Radhey Shyam said.

Kamal Juneja, who last played first-class cricket in 1978-79, finds it difficult to stay away from the cricket field. “I have always been involved with cricket (as player and umpire). I came to the Kotla after a long time and loved meeting them players and coaches.

“The Board has taken some welcome steps for the betterment of the game and the players. It will be great if we see changes at the Kotla which is not known to respect cricketers,” said Juneja.

Among others, cricketers Pradeep Gupta, Kartar Nath, Rajinder Singh Chawla and Suresh Batra were happy to present their credentials for various posts on offer in coaching and selection. They were happy to be back at Kotla, even if for a short while.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 10:26:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/Nostalgia-time-at-the-Kotla/article14628830.ece

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