Bangla 'A' team to add foreign flavour

Cricket Safi Darashah tournament: Star-studded line-up to feature in the meet beginning on July 27

The Ban-gladesh ‘A’ team will add some international flavour to the Safi Darashah Trophy tournament to be held in Bangalore and Mysore from July 27-August 14.

Former India skipper Rahul Dravid and paceman Javagal Srinath also announced during a press conference at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here on Tuesday that a string of international players would feature in the team from Bangladesh, making this ‘one-of-of-kind tournament’ in the lead up to the Ranji Trophy.

Eight teams -- distributed into two zones of four teams each -- will feature in the tournament and the matches will be of four-day duration.

The top drawers among these teams are Mumbai Cricket Association, Baroda Cricket Association and the Hyderabad Cricket Association while there will be three teams from the host association -- KSCA XI, KSCA President’s XI and KSCA Colts.
It was also mentioned that, Indian batting star VVS Laxman will most probably turn up for Hyderabad.

“This is a very unique tournament,” said Dravid, who in jest remarked that he was disappointed not to be selected to play the tournament. “It gives youngsters a perfect chance to work on their game. And with the Ranji Trophy coming up, it is vital.”

The tournament was played in a four-day match format last year as well but the final -- won by KSCA President’s XI -- was a 50-over affair, and Srinath said the format would be different this season.

“We are done with around 80 to 90 percent of the league matches already and that gave us time to play out a full-fledged tournament,” the former India paceman and KSCA secretary said.

“We wanted to give all the players a chance to work on their game and the four-day format gives you exactly that. So we have decided to make the final a four-day affair as well. A lot of teams wanted to play in the tournament but we realised that we needed to change the format for that so we kept it down to eight teams.”

“Venues at Shimoga, Hubli and Chikmagalur are getting ready now and once they are ready we can conduct more games so perhaps we can increase the number of teams participating in the future,” Dravid added.

Explaining KSCA’s plans for the upcoming domestic season, Srinath said: “This (Safi Darashah) is ideal platform for selectors to pick the team which will go to the Buchi Babu tournament (in Chennai) and then to the Moin-Ud-Dowlah meet (in Hyderabad). By September-October, we will release the team for the Ranji Trophy.

“We also have plans to conduct a T20/ one-day tournament in December for the players who were not selected in the Ranji team.”

Teams: ‘A’ Zone: KSCA XI, KSCA Colts, Baroda Cricket Association, Bangladesh ‘A’. ‘B’ Zone: KSCA President’s XI, Mumbai Cricket Association, Rajasthan Cricket Association, Hyderabad Cricket Association.

Karnataka squads:

KSCA XI: Ganesh Satish (capt), Pavan KB, Samrath R, Manish Pandey, Amit Verma, Gautam CM (wk), Aditya B Sagar, Gowtham K, Abhimanyu Mithun, Appanna KP, Akshay SL, Vinodh S, Suchith J, Zahoor Farooqui, Shishir Bhavani. Batting coach: J Arun Kumar. Bowling coach: Mansur Ali Khan. Physio: Shravan. Trainer: Vivek Ramkrishna.

KSCA President’s XI: Stuart Binny (capt), Karun Nair Rahul KL, Robin Uthappa (wk), Kunal Kapoor, Shreyas Gopal, Abrar Kazi, Ryan Ninan, Moinuddin SK, Ronit More, Sharath HS, Nihal Ullal (wk), Siddarth KV, Sinan Abdul Khadir, Gaurav Goel. Batting coach: GK Anil Kumar. Bowling coach: T Nasiruddin. Physio: Vinod Jain. Trainer: Sai Prasanna.

KSCA Colts: Sunil N Raju (capt), Mayank Aggarwal, Nischal D, Kaunian Abbas, Pavan Deshpande, Avinash KC (wk), Anirudha Joshi, David Mathias, Arjun Shetty, Magizhendan P, Parappa Mardi, Liyan Khan, Rohan KP, Sadiq Kirmani (wk), Samarth Ooty. Coaches: Vijay Madyalkar and R Muralidhar. Physio: Prabhu.

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