Y. Venugopal Rao was one of the very few good men in Hyderabad's disastrous campaign in the inaugural Indian Premier League. While Hyderabad were about to end their forgettable stint in the tournament, Rao had a lot to ponder even beyond the IPL.
The Andhra player, who led Maharashtra's Ranji Trophy campaign as a professional last season, featured in the list compiled by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) of 20 bowlers with a suspect action. As a result, the 26-year-old, whose off-spinners are useful especially in the shorter versions of the game, was asked to attend the three-week rectification camp for all the 20 bowlers that started at the fag end of the IPL.
“Since the first stint was clashing with the IPL, he (Rao) was exempted from the camp,” BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty said. “But he will have to get cleared by the NCA staff before the beginning of the next season.”
Rao, however, had “no clue” that he had to visit the academy where his skills were groomed in the early days for the clearance.
“But if I am told to be present there, I would be happy to be there anytime,” Rao told the HT on Tuesday evening. Rao was the only player in the list to have had a taste of international cricket. Interestingly though, the off-break bowler, who is primarily a middle order batsman, did not bowl a single delivery in the 16 one-dayers that he played for India. Meanwhile, the list of 20 bowlers - a copy of which is with HT - is expectedly dominated by off-spinners. It may be recalled that on February 6, HT had reported that the list of bowlers with suspect actions was being compiled and 13 bowlers had been identified till then. The bowlers, who were identified by former India captain and the head of BCCI's umpires' wing S Venkataraghavan, underwent a three-week rectification programme under the vigilant eyes of Venkataraghavan and NCA director Dav Whatmore. While some of the bowlers have been cleared, those who still needed assistance are currently stationed in Bangalore. Gujarat's Mohnish Parmar, whose bowling action resembles Muttiah Muralitharan's, was cleared before he was selected for India A's ongoing tour to Israel.
The full list: Offspiner Y Venugopal Rao (Mah), Ankit Bawne (Mah), Mohnish Parmar (Guj), Hemal Watekar (And), Aditya Angle (Goa), Shivakant Shukla (UP), Charanjit Singh (Pun), Ashish Mohanty (Oris), Shamsher Singh (Raj), Kamlesh Makvana (Sau), Saurasish Lahiri (Beng), Priyankar Mukherjee (Beng), Jayanta Debnath (Tri) Mediumpace Amit Singh (Guj), Sumit Singh (Bar), Murtaza Ali (MP), Wahid Sayyed (Mah), Sankalp Vohra (Bar, left-arm) Left-arm spiner Ankur Kakkar (Punjab), Legspiner Rajesh Banik (Tri).