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BCCI calls up fringe players for camps

india Updated: Jul 24, 2006 15:51 IST
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Fringe players would be as much under the spotlight as the regulars when the conditioning camps begin in Bangalore this week in the lead up to the cricket tri-series in Sri Lanka next month.

It appears the Cricket Board has done a wise thing by calling up even those players for the camps who are not a part of India's one-day scheme of things at present.

With the Champions Trophy slated for October-November and World Cup in March next year, the Board obviously is looking at the wider picture and keen to identify a pool of players for the quadrennial extravaganza.

Whatever the BCCI plans be, the call-up might indeed turn out to be a boon for bowlers like Laxmipathy Balaji and Murali Kartik who have been struggling with their rehabilitation following injuries.

Kartik has been laid low by a shoulder injury while Balaji has been troubled by a lower back problem.

Punjab speedster VRV Singh is also expected to be part of the camps, the first of which begins on Tuesday, while Ashish Nehra might give it a skip since he is playing for a club in England.

Irfan Pathan, whose indifferent form in the Caribbean has set alarm bells ringing, is already here, getting in a few extra sessions of bowling practice under the guidance of biomechanist Ian Frazer at the National Cricket Academy, venue for the two camps.

Also expected to join the 15-member squad for the camps is stylish right-hander VVS Laxman.

Laxman has not played a one-day international since the tri-series in Sri Lanka in 2005 but he let his feelings known at being left out of the one-day squad after he slammed a century in the recent Test series against the West Indies.

The camps also assume significance in view of the fact that Sachin Tendulkar will be back with the rest of the team after a hiatus stretching to almost five months.

Tendulkar was named in the Sri Lanka bound squad last week after reports by physiotherapist John Gloster stated that the Mumbai batsman was fit enough to resume international action.

The two camps, the first intended to test the fitness of players and the second concentrating on skills, will provide Tendulkar another chance to test himself out before donning the team colours in Colombo.

Coach Greg Chappell, currently on a vacation to the USA, is likely to join the team ahead of the second camp, which is scheduled to begin on August 6.

The 4-1 defeat to West Indies may have been brushed aside as a one-off reversal by the team management, but the fact that the Caribbean hosts the World Cup next year would not be lost on Chappell and Co.

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