Free Press Journal

Gambhir skips practice today; net session also cancelled


New Delhi: The ongoing fiasco at the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) today deepened further as the senior most player Gautam Gambhir kept himself away from the Ranji Trophy probables camp which started at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground yesterday. It has been learnt that Gambhir was advised by some of the top officials of the DDCA to not attend the session and the former India opener is reportedly awaiting the Sports Committee election results which is likely to set the house in order.

Gambhir, who has been named captain in sports secretary Anil Jain’s list, yesterday supervised the practice session for two hours even though he himself did not bat at the nets. However as has been the case with DDCA, the second day’s practice session ended with only light physical exercise under bowling coach Amit Bhandari after the practice pitches were found inappropriate for batting.

A senior DDCA official on conditions of anonymity informed that Gambhir has been advised to stay away from the Ranji nets as it can lead to further controversy. “In any case, there is a lot of controversy and confusion in the DDCA ranks. A very senior office-bearer has told Gautam personally to not come for practice for the time being. But there is a possibility that he might come tomorrow if things are set in order,” a senior official told PTI today.

Another major reason for Gambhir staying away is his own training is getting hampered because of having to look into minute details of the practice. “Look, the practice is going in a haphazard manner. Gautam’s own training schedule is getting disturbed. With just two weeks left for the first Ranji Trophy game against Rajasthan (October 2 in Jaipur), it is only fair that he focusses on his own training,” the official added.

Gambhir is currently doing net sessions at the Bharatnagar ground under his childhood coach Sanjay Bharadwaj. Meanwhile another senior DDCA official Ashoke Sharma, who has also given a list, said that the reason for today’s no net session is due to poor practice pitches.

“The pitches were a bit damp and so there was no net session held today. Players did a bit of exercise under assistant coach Amit Bhandari (named in Chetan Chauhan faction’s list), who joined the training today. Gautam did not come today,” DDCA executive committee member Sharma said.