New Delhi: Former India allrounder Manoj Prabhakar has been removed as coach of Delhi after venting his frustration over certain players and the selectors.
In an interview with the Indian Express on Tuesday, Prabhakar had been critical of the attitude of certain players and the fact that he had not been consulted when the team was picked. Two days before the 67th edition of the Ranji Trophy starts, Prabhakar now finds himself without a job.
"He made comments against players and selectors and it hasn't gone down well with them. It has created a rift in the team," Delhi's chief selector Chetan Chauhan told the Hindustan Times.
Speaking to the Times of India on Tuesday night, Prabhakar expressed disappointment that he had not been informed of his sacking by the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA)."They didn't even have the courtesy to inform me about this. It's late at night, I'll wait for a day and then speak to the DDCA officials and after that I'll tell my side of the story," he said.
According to Chauhan, Prabhakar will not be reinstated. Delhi's assistant coach Sanjeev Sharma will take charge of the team ahead of their first match against Haryana.
In the Indian Express, Prabhakar had been critical of Delhi batsmen Shikhar Dhawan and Unmukt Chand for their approach during practice and was rather bleak about Delhi's chances this season. "Shikhar is one of the senior most batsmen in the side but he doesn't look like he wants to treasure his wicket," he said. "My biggest concern is that the batsmen don't seem to be willing to learn. They are not open to new suggestions and don't want to fine-tune their game. Everyone wants to play his own game but that doesn't work in a team.
"I am worried about Unmukt. This season is going to be a big test for him. But he hasn't hit a single ball with a straight bat. Is he playing baseball? It is high time he realised that there is a big difference between Under-19 and domestic cricket.
Following Delhi's failure to make the quarter-finals last year, Prabhakar did not show much faith for 2011-2012. "I won't accept any blame whatever the outcome of this season's campaign is, because I was not even consulted when the team was named by the selection committee," he said. "Last year when I joined as coach, I thought I could build a new team with fresh faces. This season I tried to bring in new ideas and new thinking but most of them have been rejected."
The Ranji Trophy gets underway across India from Thursday.