Special Training Coach

Shri Ajay Sharma is a former Indian cricketer. Firstly, that a man whose first-class average was the third-highest of any player to have scored 10,000 runs. He played one Test match for India - against the West Indies in January 1988. He played 31 ODIs - for some reason becoming pigeonholed as a one-day specialist - with his left-arm spin earmarking him as an allrounder.

They called him The Don of Delhi for a reason. It was not merely about the hundreds - though he scored them almost at will. It was about facing seamers in a sunhat and stepping out to spinners on dustbowls, treating everyone across the country with utter disdain.

Solid in the middle-order with a comprehensive array of strokes, Sharma played a solitary Test. He debuted alongside WV Raman and Narendra Hirwani, and all three men did their bits. Batting on a rank turner, Sharma scored 30 and 23, adding 113 with Kapil Dev in the first innings and 61 with Raman in the second. For some reason he was never picked again.

Sharma’s 31 ODIs fetched him 494 runs at 20, but a strike rate of 90 was exceptional for the era. Against New Zealand in 1988-89 he slammed a 47-ball 52 not out; two days later he slammed a 36-ball 50 at Baroda. His next innings was a 48-ball 43 not out in Kensington Oval.

He continued to remain a pillar in domestic cricket, leading Delhi to a Ranji Trophy title in 1991-92, leading the way with 175 in the first innings. In all scored 4 hundreds in 6 Ranji Trophy finals.


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