gautam gambhir
Gautam Gambhir (IANS Photo)

Nitish Rana will captain Delhi has been named as the new Delhi captain for the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 season following Gautam Gambhir‘s decision to step down from the role. Gambhir relinquished the captaincy citing the need to groom someone younger for the job.

Rana, 24, has played 24 first-class matches in which he has scored 1574 runs at 46.29 with four centuries and 6 half-centuries.

“Gautam has intimated the state team’s chief selector Amit Bhandari that he would like to opt out of captaincy,” PTI quoted a senior office-bearer of the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) as saying. “He suggested that someone younger be groomed for the job. Nitish Rana will lead the side and Dhruv Shorey will be his deputy.”

Gambhir, 37, was named Delhi skipper at the start of the current domestic season and recently led them into the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, a domestic one-day tournament, where he also scored 518 runs with two centuries to finish as the second highest run-getter.

“Time to pass the captaincy baton to youngsters, hence have requested the DDCA selectors not to consider me for that role. I will be in the background helping the new leader to win games,” Gambhir tweeted on Monday.

Delhi will name their Ranji squad later on Monday as they gear up for their season-opening fixture at the Feroz Shah Kotla from November 12.

Speculations over Gambhir’s availability as player for the entire season still continue.