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Kaif deserves to play in the Cup: ex-selector

Discarded Mohammad Kaif receives backing of Gopal Sharma, who says the batsman deserves a World Cup berth ahead of a second wicketkeeper.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2007 18:56 IST

Discarded Mohammad Kaif has received the strong backing of former national selector and state team manager Gopal Sharma, who said the Uttar Pradesh batsman deserved a World Cup berth ahead of a second wicketkeeper.

"There was no need of second wicketkeeper in the Indian side after Mahendra Singh Dhoni was selected (for the West Indies and Sri Lanka home series), and if it was needed skipper Rahul Dravid could have taken up the job," Sharma toldPTIon Sunday.

"Kaif should be given a chance (to prove himself) ahead of Dinesh Kaarthick (the second wicketkeeper)," he added.

Kaif was one of the players to suffer the axe following India's disastrous show in South Africa recently.

But while Irfan Pathan and Virender Sehwag have been given a chance to prove their form ahead of the World Cup in the Caribbean in March-April, Kaif has been left in the cold.

Sharma said the exclusion of Uttar Pradesh players - Kaif, Suresh Raina and Rudra Pratap Singh - for the first two one-dayers against Sri Lanka was a grave injustice to the state.

"RP Singh has been kept out of the team without any reason while he had performed better than Sreesanth," he said.

Sharma also questioned Munaf Patel's fitness and said the latter was in the team despite being unfit.

First Published: Feb 18, 2007 18:56 IST