Vinod Sharma in a new role
As Railways skipper Murali Kartik was busy doing a splendid task for his country by claiming six Aussie wickets on Wednesday, his Ranji coach Vinod Sharma, who had been serving the team since 1984, was summoned for a different task.
Sharma is now leading the Railways women's team against Rajasthan in a three-day match at the Karnail Singh Stadium here.
While he replaced Harsh Kumar for the current job, assistant coach Abhay Sharma has been appointed the men's coach. Harsh Kumar has been handed over the reins of the under-22 team.
"It's the decision of the Board (Railways Sports Promotion Board). Whatever they say we have to go by that," Vinod Sharma told Hindustan Times.
"My transfer does not mean that I will not be available for Murali (Kartik) and Sanjay (Bangar), who have been with me for the last 15 years. I will certainly help them when needed.
"The Board decided in favour of Abhay…I have no problems with that, they probably wanted a young man to lead, which I think is a correct decision."
On his appointment as chief coach, Abhay Sharma said, "I got a letter to this effect on Monday."
Though sources in the RSPB said the team's poor run of late was the reason behind this move, the Board secretary denied this.
"He has not been sacked, nor has he been transferred. It's just that the Board decided to make him the coach of the women's team.
"We are all government employees and he will continue to serve the Railways, if not as coach of the men's but as coach of the women's team."
Meanwhile, the men's squad, which was decided last month, will start practice at Karnail Singh Stadium from October 21. The new faces include wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat, medium pacer Sabir Ali and all-rounder Musavir Khote.
Railways start their Ranji campaign on November 3 against Jammu & Kashmir in Delhi.
Murali Kartik (capt), Sanjay Bangar (vice-capt), Amit Pagnis, Kulamani Parida, Harvinder Singh, Sanjib Sanyal, Rahul Deb, Raja Ali, Santosh Saxena, Musavir Khote, Mahesh Rawat (wk), Madan Yadav, Siddharth Joshi, Sabir Ali, Harshad Rawle.
Coach: Abhay Sharma