Indian all-rounder Shardul Thakur is yet to be given a clearance by the National Cricket Academy (NCA) to return to competitive cricket. Thakur sustained an ankle injury during the recent tour of South Africa, and as a result, was not present in the squad for the ongoing Tests against England.
Thakur was also sidelined from Ranji Trophy 2024 with Mumbai awaiting his return till he gets a clearance to play from the NCA. The all-rounder was dropped after the innings defeat against South Africa in Centurion on December 2023, This allowed players like Prasidh Krishna and Mukesh Kumar to come into contention for selection.
Thakur has already missed a game for Mumbai against Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram from January 19 onwards as he was not given clearance from the NCA. The Raji side now awaits the return of the Indian all-rounder ahead of their next match against Bengal starting on February 2. To be more specific, Mumbai awaits the Return to Play (RTP) clearance from the NCA for Shardul.
“Shardul Thakur had some issue in his ankle and he was advised two-week rest by the National Cricket Academy. He was in Bengaluru for further assessment and future course of action and is likely to be available for selection soon,” Mumbai chief selector Raju Kulkarni said.
“We are still waiting for NCA’s Return to Play (RTP) report on Shardul Thakur. We need to follow the procedure and the moment the report comes, we will have clearance to pick him up for the Ranji Trophy. For now, we have made the necessary provisions and will pick him up only when the report comes from the NCA. We are hopeful to get the RTP before our sixth round game,” he added further.
Mumbai won their first three Ranji Trophy games against Bihar, Andhra, and Kerala respectively. They lost their previous match against UP with Nitish Rana leading the northern side to a win by two wickets. The match against Bengal now becomes critical for the team from the West, especially after the loss to UP.
Mumbai’s sixth-round game is scheduled to be played against Chhatisgarh at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium, Raipur from February 9 onwards. If Shardul does not make it to the game against Bengal, he should be available for the next match.
Shardul Thakur Eyeing To Count On IPL 2024 For T20 World Cup 2024 Selection
The Indian all-rounder played a couple of Vijay Hazare Trophy matches for Mumbai after the ICC World Cup 2023. He played against Saurashtra and Tripura respectively. Thakur was resigned by Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2023 for 4 crores. This happened after he was released by Kolkata Knight Riders who traded him ahead of the IPL 2023 season. A poor season with KKR saw the franchise releasing him ahead of the IPL 2024 auction.
Shardul is looking to make impactful performances to brighten his selection chances for the T20 World Cup in June this year. Thakur played last for India in the first Test against South Africa in Centurion in December 2023.