Sharma says he was sacked

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  • Published 8.05.08

Bangalore: Royal Challengers chief executive Charu Sharma on Wednesday let it be known publicly that he was sacked by United Spirits Limited (USL), the team’s franchise.

The action, sources said, came from the very top (owner Vijay Mallya) in an effort to fix responsibility for the Bangalore team’s poor performance.

Royal Challengers are currently at the bottom of the table, having lost five of their seven matches. They take on Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday.

Brijesh Patel has since taken charge and is in Calcutta with the team.

It may be recalled that Mallya had opposed Patel’s candidates during the last KSCA elections.

In a statement Mallya hoped Patel’s presence would help the team while being silent on Sharma’s removal. He also exuded confidence on bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad.

“I was summarily dismissed from my duties three hours before I was to board a flight to Calcutta for the next match,” Sharma said. The team arrived in Calcutta on Tuesday night.

“I am not a quitter, especially when the chips are down. Despite the sudden demise of my father at the start of IPL, I chose to give all my time and attention to the welfare of the team, returning home for his last rites for only the briefest period.”

Mallya was apparently upset with the team’s poor performance and spoke to Sharma after the loss to Mohali on Monday. A heated argument also took place between Sharma and senior USL officials.

Sharma said he did not quit due to personal reasons, as alleged by USL, as the last thought on his mind would have been to part ways with the team.

“My role, as I saw it, was to constantly motivate, encourage, facilitate and respect the efforts of the cricket professionals in the team. And that is what I tried to do, sincerely, day after day — win or lose — in the true spirit of sportsmanship,” he said.

Charu admitted though the Bangalore team, jokingly called a Test team, was not the fastest off the blocks, but there were many more matches and seasons to get it right.