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Ishant not to fly to SA: Vengsarkar

In what is definitely a complete farce, the paceman is cut short in stride after Vengsarkar changes his mind.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2006 23:31 IST

In what is definitely a complete farce and yet another manifestation of the complete lack of communication between various parts of the Indian Board (BCCI) and an indication of the lack of transparency in the system, young Delhi pacer Ishant Sharma will now not be coming to South Africa. Or at least that is what is the latest statement in the whole sorry stageshow.

The worst part of the embarrassing episode is the psychological effect the whole drama must have had on the 18-year-old, currently with the Delhi Ranji team in Rajkot.

After being given the news of his 'inclusion', he had been hounded by the media there had given bite after bite and been all excited and pepped up at the thought of joining the Indian team on New Year's Eve in Cape Town.

For most of Wednesday, there was complete confusion here following reports from India that Sharma would be sent here as a replacement for Irfan Pathan, given that Munaf Patel was still not fully fit.

Through the day, there was neither confirmation nor denial of the story and around lunch, it was given to understand that Ishant had been told he was going and would be setting off from Mumbai on December 30.

The chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar, who has been singing Sharma's praises to everyone for the past few days, was unavailable for comment.

But soon thereafter, though, we received a written statement, signed by Vengsarkar and media manager Rajan Nair, which blandly stated: "Initially, Delhi seamer Ishaan Sharma (they obviously can't spell his name) was being considered to be drafted into the Indian squad presently in South Africa. This was being done to provide the youngster with the necessary international exposure. However, considering his recent Ranji Trophy schedule for Delhi this season, it has now been decided not to have him fly down to Cape Town and instead allow him to concentrate on his domestic first-class matches".

Some quarters say that Sharma will still be sent and if so, that will complete the farce. But for the rest, this tour has been one communication mess-up (within the set-up) after the other. The Munaf drama, of course, is still on, with even the BCCI brass apparently not quite knowing what exactly is happening.

First Published: Dec 27, 2006 18:10 IST