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Karnataka get Dravid boost

All doubts whether Dravid would play or not were laid to rest with the Karnataka think-tank saying that the Indian skipper would play.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2007 12:01 IST
G Krishnan

All doubts whether Rahul Dravid would play for Karnataka or not in their last Ranji Trophy Super League Group 'A' clash here against Saurashtra from Wednesday were laid to rest with the Karnataka think-tank saying that the Indian skipper would play.

Dravid arrived in Rajkot on Tuesday night from Mumbai, where he landed from South Africa on Sunday night.

Karnataka manager and State selector, Raghuram Bhat said: "Dravid is definitely playing. He was stranded in Mumbai as his kit had not arrived with him from South Africa."

It is mandatory for all the State associations to register their list of probables with the BCCI to come under its insurance cover. As Dravid has missed the whole of this Ranji season due to national assignments, his name has been included. BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah assured Bhat that "Dravid was a contracted player with the Board and shall have no problem in playing the game".

However, leg-spinner Anil Kumble, would not turn out for Karnataka. Bhat said: "Kumble's shoulder needs rest. He has bowled so much in South Africa and keeping in mind India's forthcoming matches and the World Cup, Kumble needed rest".

Dravid would be playing under Yere Goud in this game.

Karnataka are currently placed second in their Group with 15 points behind Baroda (17). Saurashtra are fourth in the table with 9 points and retain their place in Elite Group.

BCCI says no to Sharma

In its effort to wipe out illegal bowling, the BCCI has directed the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) not to select off-spinner Rajesh Sharma for future matches till he corrects his action.

The BCCI on Tuesday confirmed that Punjab off-spinner Rajesh Sharma has been reported twice for suspect action. The 22-year-old bowler has been reported by match officials in the Duleep Trophy final between North Zone and Sri Lanka 'A' and then in the Ranji Trophy game between Punjab and Maharashtra at Kolhapur.

Shah said: "Sharma has been already been reported and there is a danger of him being called in the match. We don't want any bowler with suspect action playing." As a result, Sharma has not been included in Punjab's last Super League match against Hyderabad in Hyderabad starting on Wednesday.

"We will send Sharma to the NCA to correct his action."

Board plans sporting tracks

The BCCI is planning to prepare sporting tracks in the country to enable India overcome their shortcomings on such pitches when they tour overseas.

The BCCI had a meeting with the Pitches and Grounds Committee in Mumbai on Monday and have identified certain centres where fast, bouncy pitches can be readied for domestic matches. "If you see, in the last two years, the pitches are improving," said BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah. "It's not a fast process where you can get big changes in one year.”

First Published: Jan 10, 2007 00:49 IST