The Malta Cricket Association (MCA) have completed a major coup after naming Rajkumar Sharma, the men who discovered Indian top-class batsman Virat Kohli, as their new national team coach for this week’s international T20 tournament in Spain.

Sharma will lead the side in the three-team tournament in La Manga that will see the participation of hosts Spain and Estonia and that will be played between

For those who are not familiar with the cricket world, Kohli is regarded as the modern master and arguably the best run scorer of his generation.

In One Day Internationals, Kohli stands second only to another Indian great, Sachin Tendulkar for the number of centuries. In 2,020 ODIs, Kohli has scored 9,030 runs. He was named International Cricketer of the Year in 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. 

“When the Malta Cricket Association approached me for the job I felt that they really wanted me to help them out and be part of their set-up,” Sharma told the Times of Malta yesterday.

“I know that there are a number of players with Indian descent in the team and that convinced me even more to take up this challenge. Obviously, I know that Malta is not one of the big countries in the sport of cricket, but that, itself, is an added challenge for me.”

Sharma said that he is looking forward to meet with the Maltese players in the coming days but says that his real work will start after the tournament.

“We are going to Spain for a few days and take part in this tournament which will serve as an introduction for me with the players,” Sharma said.

“However, when we come back I’d like to start working more with the players and try to teach them the basics of the game and how to prepare for international tournaments.

“Added to that, I’m really interested in working at grassroot level and introducing the game to young Maltese kids as it would be great if I can help in building a proper national team for the future.

“Hopefully this short collaboration will go well so I can continue helping the Malta Cricket Association.”

On his part, Paul Bradley, chairman of the MCA, said that the appointment of Sharma shows that the local governing body’s intention to build a solid foundation for the future of the sport.

“Having a person of the caliber of Rajkumar Sharma surely gives a huge boost to the Malta Cricket Association in terms of image with the other countries,” Bradley said.

“Apart from being a top-class coach, his immense pedigree could open the door to attract more support for the game of cricket in Malta.

“Our plan is to use the next few months as a good foundation for 2020 when we are planning to see our national team take part in the preliminary round of the 2020 World Cup.”

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