The Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) on Sunday appointed Raj Kumar Sharma, Virat Kohli’s childhood coach, as the head coach of the Delhi state senior team for the upcoming 2020-21 domestic season starting with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20.
Sharma is a former first-class player and will be assisted by Gursharan Singh, who has played one Test and one ODI for India against New Zealand in 1990. Singh has been involved with various state teams in the last decade.
Sharma, a 2016 Dronacharya awardee, was also the bowling coach of Delhi last season. He has also coached the national team of Malta and has been the head of the Delhi U-23 team in the past.
Along with them, Ashu Dani has been named as the chairperson of the selection committee while Mohan Chaturvedi and Chetnya Nanda are the other members.
The refurbished Sardar Patel stadium in Ahmedabad will host the knock-out matches of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 championship, from January 20-31.
The teams have been divided into six Groups – five Elite Groups and one Plate Group with Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Indore, Chennai and Vadodara being the venues for league games.
“The BCCI will start the domestic season 2020-21 with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament from January 10th 2021, onwards,” Jay Shah, BCCI secretary, stated in a letter.
“The teams are required to assemble in their respective host cities on or before January 2, 2021, and will be needed to undergo COVID-19 testing procedures and quarantine in accordance with the state regulatory authorities,” Shah said.
Chennai will be hosting the matches of the Plate Group, which comprises eight teams, while the other 30 teams have been divided into five Elite Groups, with each Group, having six teams.
The knock-outs are scheduled to start on January 26, with the quarter-finals to be played on January 26 and 27, while the two semi-finals will be played on January 29 and the final on January 31 in Ahmedabad.
The players will have to undergo three COVID-19 tests on January 2, 4 and 6, the results of which will be declared on the subsequent day.
Even before the knock-outs, the players will be undergoing two COVID-19 tests, one on January 20 and the other on January 22.
Karnataka, who are the defending champions, have been placed in Elite Group A, and will be playing their matches in Bengaluru.
Delhi and domestic giants Mumbai have been placed in Elite Group E and will play their matches in Mumbai, while Bengal have been placed in Elite Group B and will play their matches in Kolkata.
This is the first tournament of the 2020-21 season, which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.