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Ganguly opts out of tie

There is something special about the way the Indian Cricket Board thinks.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2006 19:10 IST
C. Shekhar Luthra
C. Shekhar Luthra

There is something special about the way the Indian Cricket Board thinks. Be it Ranji, Duleep or Deodhar Trophy, the BCCI's think-tank always make sure that these tournaments clash with more important events.

This year is no different either. On the one hand, the elite players (Team India) are preparing for the forthcoming Test series against England, while the fringe -- Board President's XI -- have been roped in to give match practice to the visitors at Baroda. The “leftovers” will take part in the Deodhar Trophy one-day tournament commencing from Saturday. When favourites South Zone will step on to the MPCA's Usha Raje stadium against East Zone, a lot of high profile players would be missing from both team's ranks.

The first and foremost will be former India skipper Sourav Ganguly. After being left out of the Indian squad for the England series, a lot of guesswork is being done here whether Ganguly would actually be keen to take part in this meaningless exercise And he, probably, took the right decision to wait for few more days to compose himself before making yet another serious comeback attempt.

“Sourav will not be playing in the opening game. He may join us (East Zone team) for the next match at Jaipur," informed the East Zone manager Sameer Dasgupta on Friday.

No replacement has been named. On the other hand, the South Zone team has also been robbed off the services of its three main players, skipper Venugopal Rao, wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthick and speedster S Sreesanth. While Rao and Karthick are part of the Board President’s XI playing against England, Sreesanth has been picked for the national squad.

Ex-India batsman Hemang Badani has taken charge of South Zone and will have to bear the extra burden of guiding his team in the tough opening encounter.

The highlight of this year's tournament would be the colour clothing, which is being introduced for the first time at domestic level. Thus, a little bit extra swing of the white ball may cause trouble to the side batting first early in the morning. However, the wicket here looked as good or as bad as any other square in the country.

It would now be interesting to see if the colour clothing can add that much-needed flavour to this otherwise insignificant exercise?

First Published: Feb 26, 2006 19:10 IST