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BCCI names dope-tainted Abhishek Gupta in Duleep Trophy squad, replaces him later with Akshay Wadkar

The BCCI has named Punjab wicket-keeper batsman Abhishek Gupta in the Indian Red squad for Duleep Trophy despite the fact that he is serving a doping ban till September 14.

cricket Updated: Jul 23, 2018 23:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Chandigarh
Abhishek Gupta,Duleep Trophy,BCCI
Abhishek Gupta was handed a retrospective eight-month suspension for an ‘inadvertent’ doping violation in June 2018. (HT Photo)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selectors goofed up by naming suspended wicket-keeper Abhishek Gupta in one of the squads for the upcoming Duleep Trophy. Gupta is currently serving an eight-month ban for doping violation but was initially named in the India Red team, according to a media release sent earlier on Monday.

However, late in the evening, a red-faced BCCI scrambled to name Vidarbha wicket-keeper Akshay Wadkar as replacement. The BCCI had charged Gupta with committing a doping violation during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in an official press release on June 7 and was suspended for eight months with effect from January 15, the day he was tested.

“It was brought to notice by the BCCI Anti-Doping team that Mr. Abhishek Gupta who was initially added in the India Red squad is serving an 8-month ban for a doping violation. His ban is set to end on the 14th of September, 2018. The senior selection committee has reached a consensus that Mr. Akshay Wadkar will be included in the India Red team as Mr. Gupta’s replacement,” said the release sent later on Monday.

READ | Shreyas Iyer to lead India A against Australia A, South Africa A; Yuzvendra Chahal included

This season’s Duleep Trophy is scheduled to be held between August 17 and September 8. Gupta was suspended for the ‘inadvertent ingestion’ of Terbutaline that is commonly found in cough syrups. Gupta admitted to the charges, saying he had inadvertently taken it following his doctor’s prescription to treat an upper respiratory tract infection.

When reached, Gupta too sounded confused. “The ban expires on September 14. I have not got any official email or phone call from the BCCI on my selection in the India Red team for Duleep Trophy yet. When and if I do, then I will inquire about the status of my selection. I am also a bit confused at the moment,” said Gupta, who is currently attending an off-season camp in Mohali.

The BCCI, on Monday, named squads for the upcoming four-day game against South Africa ‘A’ and a quadrangular series. They also announced the three squads — India Blue, India Red and India Green — for the Duleep Trophy.

Chahal readied for Tests

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was named in the India ‘A’ team for the two four-day matches against South Africa ‘A’, starting August 4 in an effort to get him match-ready for the latter part of the Test tour of England, beginning August 1. The squad for the first three Tests has already been announced. The matches will be played in Belgaum (August 4-7) and Bangalore (August 10-13).

First Published: Jul 23, 2018 20:53 IST