Gambhir cops suspended sentence

Test batsman sanctioned for criticising Delhi coach KP Bhaskar in March

India opener Gautam Gambhir has been slapped with a four-game suspended ban for making critical comments of his domestic side's head coach.

Gambhir, a 58-Test veteran who returned to India's Test side for two matches after a two-year absence, publicly condemned Delhi mentor KP Bhaskar in March during the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

The 35-year-old had criticised Bhaskar's selection policies, in particular questioning why young batsmen Unmukt Chand and Nitish Rana had been left out for parts of the domestic one-day tournament.

But a three-person committee set up by the Delhi and District Cricket Association came down hard on Gambhir, describing his actions as a "serious disgrace".

IPL10: Lynn, Gambhir's record stand blasts Gujarat away

"Mr Gambhir's actions towards (Bhaskar) with premeditated intent to humiliate the coach were highly inappropriate and of serious nature," DDCA administrator and former Supreme Court Justice Vikramjit Sen said.

"The position of a coach among the team members is of high respect and dignity. It is a serious disgrace to a coach to be humiliated in front of team members by one of the team members even though if it is a senior player.

"The actions of Mr Gambhir, however well intended, cannot be said to be in the interest of the team, or its performance or the game as it was done on the very last day of the season and therefore could not have been any corrective effect."

Quick Single: Kohli's social media detox for Trophy final

Gambhir's punishment, effective for four first-class matches, has been suspended for two years provided he accepts the ruling.

In March, Gambhir suggested Bhaskar's coaching style had created a sense of insecurity in the Delhi squad.

"Delhi doesn't have a good cricketing structure and already players feel they are one match away from getting dropped," Gambhir told the Press Trust of India at the time.

"I told Bhaskar throughout the season, just don't make players this insecure.

"Look at somebody like Unmukt Chand. He was an India A captain recently, captained Delhi when I wasn't a part of the team.

Quick Single: The Kiwi hand behind fearless Fakhar

"Suddenly you don't even pick him for Delhi's one-day side. Look where you have got his career to.

"Look at Nitish Rana … he has played IPL for Mumbai Indians and suddenly three bad one-day games, you send him back.

"I don't have problems with people being dropped from the playing XI but … look how insecure they will feel when they come back next into the side.

"How much insecurity have you put in Unmukt and Nitish's mind? They are 23-year-olds for god's sake."

Ashes tickets are on sale now