Manoj Prabhakar, the former India allrounder, has been sacked as Delhi's coach two days before the start of the 2011-12 Ranji Trophy season because he made critical comments about the players and selectors.
"He made comments against players and selectors and it hasn't gone down well with them. It has created a rift in the team," said Delhi's chief selector Chetan Chauhan told Hindustan Times. Chauhan said Prabhakar would not be reinstated, although no replacement was named. Assistant coach Sanjeev Sharma will take charge of the team ahead of their first match against Haryana.
Delhi failed to make the quarter-finals of last year's Ranji Trophy and Prabhakar had said he did not have much hope this season either. "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," Prabhakar told the Indian Express. "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."
Prabhakar had also been critical of Delhi batsmen Shikhar Dhawan and Unmukt Chand for their approach during practice. "Shikhar is one of the senior most batsmen in the side but he doesn't look like he wants to treasure his wicket.
"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 U-19 and domestic cricket."