Ranji Trophy 2017/18: Saha, Shami To Play Semifinal For Bengal; Doubts Over Availability Of Ishant Sharma
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to allow the Test specialist players to play in the semifinal of the Ranji Trophy before the team flies to South Africa, as per a report in PTI.
Players like Mohammed Shami and Wriddhiman Saha will be playing the semifinal game for Bengal whereas Umesh Yadav will also play for Vidarbha. However, as per the report, there is still suspense over Ishant Sharma participating in the contest.
“Yes, Shami and Wriddhi will be playing for Bengal. It has been a good move by BCCI to allow the top stars take part in a marquee match. Ranji Trophy is the premier tournament and at a stage like semifinal, it will be a boost for the Bengal team to get two of its senior most players,” Avishek Dalmiya, CAB’s joint secretary told PTI.
It was the CAB only which had decided not to approach the board for the release of the players as Sourav Ganguly had said that that they have to follow the policies made by the board, but now, this news has come out as a big one for them and will give them a big boost.
Shami will automatically come in place of Ishan Porel, who has joined the U19 camp while Saha will keep wickets for the side.
Squad: Manoj Tiwary (captain), Sudip Chatterjee (vice-captain), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Shreevats Goswami, Anustup Majumder, Abhishek Raman, Aamir Gani, Pradipta Pramanik, Ashok Dinda, Mohammed Shami, Mukesh Kumar, Kanishk Seth, B Amit and Writtick Chatterjee.
Ishant, if he plays, will replace one of the pacers in the side and will also take over the captaincy from Rishab Pant. Umesh Yadav will give Vidarbha a much-needed boost – who have reached the semifinal stage for the first time in the history of the tournament.
Karnataka will not be able to get the services of its international stars viz Manish Pandey and KL Rahul as they both are a part of the T20I squad to face Sri Lanka. BCCI could have released KL Rahul for the quarterfinal game as he was not a part of Delhi Test but that was not the case.
Despite the absence of key players, Karnataka defeated 41-time champion, Mumbai by an innings and 20 runs in the quarterfinal game.
In the semifinal stage, Delhi will face Bengal and Vidarbha will take on Karnataka.
Both the games will start on December 17. Meanwhile, BCCI also confirmed the venue for the final of the tournament. Holkar stadium, which hosted the final of the tournament last year, will again host the final of Ranji Trophy 2017-18.
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