In a bizarre state of affairs, the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) on Saturday (January 6) has sacked its brightest talent Rishabh Pant from the state captaincy. The decision has left a lot of people awestruck since Delhi had reached the final of Ranji Trophy this season under Pant.
Left-arm seamer Pradeep Sangwan, who featured in the 2008 edition of U-19 World Cup under Virat Kohli’s leadership, was handed over the captaincy. The 27-year-old wasn’t even deemed fit to play in the recently concluded Ranji Trophy and is suspect of being the first Indian cricketer to test positive for banned substance.
In another notable developmenet, seasoned campaigners like Unmukt Chand, Manan Sharma and Milind Kumar were snubbed from the squad for Zonal T20 League that starts on January 7.
"We decided that Rishabh is struggling a bit with his form and we didn't want to burden him with captaincy. Pradeep Sangwan is fit and is the seniormost player in the set-up (save Gautam Gambhir) playing from 2008. So we thought that Sangwan should be made the captain," DDCA chief selector Atul Wassan was quoted by PTI as saying.
The selectors could have shown faith in veteran Gautam Gambhir, who has a proven record of leadership at both national and international level.
"We want Gautam to play the role of a mentor in this set-up. Also this was the format where we could have tested new players like Tejas Barokha and Lalit Yadav, who have been star performers for U-23 side. Also new ball bowler Gaurav Kumar," Wassan further added.
Talking about Bihar politician Pappu Yadav's son Sarthak Ranjan’s selection, Wassan clarified that he had been picked after being monitored for two months.
"Sarthak had some mental issues and that's why did not play during the beginning of the season. Once he was mentally ready, we kept him on stand by for the U-23 squad. I monitored him for two months and now we have picked him as he is a fantastic talent," said Wassan.
Delhi Squad for Zonal T20 League:
Pradeep Sangwan (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Rishabh Pant, Himmat Singh, Dhruv Shorey, Lalit Yadav, Kshitij Sharma, Nitish Rana, Navdeep Saini, Pawan Negi, Kulwant Khejroliya, Khistij Sharma, Tejas Barokha, Subodh Bhati, Gaurav Kumar.