Bangalore: Dharamshala is apparently “not easy to reach”. That’s why, according to the BCCI, Cheteshwar Pujara didn’t play in the Ranji Final, reducing the prestigious premier domestic tournament to a farce.
|Cheteshwar Pujara was carrying drinks in Dharamshala while Saurashtra was struggling during their Ranji trophy final against Mumbai at Wankhede
The Indian board put the blame on the Indian team management for the blunder. “It (not relieving Pujara from the Indian squad) was a team management’s decision,” Sanjay Jagdale, BCCI’s secretary, said yesterday in Bangalore.
“It was not the BCCI’s decision. We left it to them because there were one or two fitness concerns. They were a bit worried that if there was a last-minute problem then they can’t get a replacement also as Dharamsha la is a place that is not easy to reach. So to be on the safer side they wanted to keep them back.” Only that classicsitcom response of “Seriously?!” befits this situation.
Sehwag to lead rest of India
Jagdale was at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore yesterday for convening the selection meeting that picked the Rest of India squad for the Irani Trophy, and the two teams – Board President’s XI and India A – that will play Australia in two warm-up games in mid February.
Yesterday also saw a long discussion over the injury and fitness management at the NCA. It’s been a prickly issue and the board has been under fire for not handling injury management properly.
The NCA chairman Ranjib Biswal, Jagdale, Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI’s Chief administrative officer, and Indian team’s entire support staff that included coach Duncan Fletcher, India A and junior India team’s support staff ranging from Lalchand Rajput to Bharat Arun along with NCA’s top-brass were present at that meeting.
“This meeting is basically to have a better co-ordination between the NCA, the (Indian team) support staff, the `A’ team support staff so that there is uniformity in fitness levels and skill management,” Jagdale said.
“Particularly to have more information and to monitor the fitness and the skill levels of upcoming cricketers also.” Yesterday was also the final day of the three-day camp for seamers and spinners (18 in all), picked from the Ranji Trophy, which was presided over by the national coach Duncan Fletcher.
Considering the dearth of good spinners in the national scene, Jagdale was asked whether the board was thinking about appointing a spin coach. “We have not taken any decision yet but it is under onsideration,” he said.
Rest of India: Virender Sehwag (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Manoj Tiwary, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Harbhajan Singh, S Sreesanth, Pragyan Ojha, Ishwar Pandey, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ambati Rayudu, Shami Ahmed, Jalaj Saxena. Board President’s XI: Abhinav Mukund (captain), Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Parthiv Patel, Stuart Binny, Sarabjit Ladda, Parveez Rasool, Mohammed Shami, Parvinder Awana, Kamlesh Makwana. India A: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Jiwanjot Singh, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Ajinkya Rahane, CM Gautam, Rakesh Dhruv, Jalaj Saxena, Manpreet Gony, Vinay Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ashok Menaria.