Gambhir on his confrontation with Delhi coach: If protecting a youngster is a crime, I am guilty

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Gambhir on his confrontation with Delhi coach: If protecting a youngster is a crime, I am guilty

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SportsCafe Desk

03/08/2017

Opening up on his recent dressing room confrontation with KP Bhaskar, Gautam Gambhir has slammed the Delhi coach for creating an insecure environment in the team for the youngsters. “I could not have let this man play with careers of young players like Unmukt Chand and Nitish Rana,” Gambhir said.

Delhi cricket has been a mess both on and off the field. The Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) has been in an administrative mess, while the team failed to make the last-eight in both the Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy 50-over competition this season.

Gambhir has blamed KP Bhaskar for the dressing room problems. "If protecting a youngster is a crime, I am guilty. If making 20-22 year olds feel secure in an insecure environment is a crime, then I am guilty. But I could not have let this man (Bhaskar) play with careers of young players like Unmukt Chand and Nitish Rana," Gambhir told PTI.

"Dressing room is a private environment. It's like a bedroom. There may be many discussions but that's not supposed to be discussed with media. I never spoke what all he (Bhaskar) said after we lost a T20 match in Himachal as to what laurels he had brought to Delhi cricket and where these youngsters are taking it to? Is it how you deal with youngsters?"

Gambhir went on to say that all has not been well in the dressing room for the last three years, and recalled his personal experience as a youngster in the Delhi dressing room which has made him take up a stance to protect the future of the current bunch of youngsters.

"For last three years, I have been trying to give security to these young players who are all 23 or 24. There has been a culture in Delhi cricket about making players insecure. I have myself faced that when I was a youngster. When I got into the Ranji Trophy team, I was made to feel insecure. Then only I had decided, if I ever take charge I will never make young boys feel insecure. I backed certain boys for 2-3 years as these were the best boys to back. It is irrelevant from which club they come and we need to get this culture out of the way.

"Look at somebody like Unmukt Chand. He was an India A captain recently, captained Delhi when I wasn't a part of the team. Suddenly you don't even pick him for Delhi's one-day side. Look where you have got his career to. Look at Nitish Rana, he played Duleep Trophy, he has played IPL for Mumbai Indians and suddenly three bad one-day games, you send him back.

"I don't have problems with people being dropped from the playing XI but don't send them back. Look how insecure they will feel when they come back next into the side. How much insecurity have you put in Unmukt and Nitish's mind? They are 23-year-olds for God's sake.

"Delhi doesn't have a good cricketing structure and already players feel they are one match away from getting dropped. I told Bhaskar throughout the season, just don't make players this insecure," Gambhir said.

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