Ex-Oman cricket coach in fray for India’s fielding job

Rakesh Sharma

Muscat - 

Former Oman coach Rakesh Sharma is in race for Indian cricket team’s fielding coach.

Sharma, who has had a long innings in Oman, first as a player in the top-flight league and then as a coach of national teams, is up against some of the best names, which include South Africa’s Jonty Rhodes, current fielding coach R Sridhar and former fielding coach Abhay Sharma.

The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Indian cricket board only last week retained Ravi Shastri as the team coach. However, the decision on the support staff - batting, bowling and fielding coaches - to assist Shastri is expected to be made on Thursday by MSK Prasad-led selection committee.

In his exclusive remarks to Muscat Daily from India, Sharma, who was coach of Oman team from 2009-14, said, “I am in Mumbai to attend the interview on Tuesday.”

The 47 year old Sharma, who coached the Oman senior, age-group and women’s national teams, over a decade and half, also represented the sultanate side as a player during his stay between 1996 and 2014.

A Level III coach, Sharma is presently working as a sports director at a global school in India. Sharma’s coaching career has seen him work closely with Indian stars like Suresh Raina, Anureet Singh, Unmukt Chand and Pawan Negi besides being fielding coach of an Indian state Ranji squad.

Sharma coached Oman to the World Cup qualifier round in Bermuda in April 2013 and also guided Team Red in the ACC T20 Champions Trophy in Nepal a few months earlier.

In 2012, the allrounder led Oman in the ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers in the UAE and in the ACC T20 tournament in Nepal. He also had successful stints with Oman U16 and U19 teams besides guiding the women’s national team.

Sharma also played for the national team in Oman between 2002 and 2005 including the ICC World Cup qualifiers in Ireland in 2005. His last coaching highlight was working as chief mentor and coach of Halar Heroes in the Saurashtra Premier League earlier this year.

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