BCCI clears SA bound Test specialists for Ranji semifinals

Bengal will be playing Delhi in Pune in the first semifinal while Karnataka will take on Vidarbha in the second semifinal.

"It will be a boost for the Bengal team to get two of its senior most players,” CAB joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya said after the BCCI decided to allow the likes of Mohammed Shami and Wriddhiman Saha to turn up for the Ranji Trophy semifinals from December 17-21.   -  K.R. DEEPAK

In a bid to keep the Test specialists match-ready, the BCCI has decided to allow the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav to turn up for their respective states in the Ranji Trophy semifinal from December 17-21.

Bengal will be playing Delhi in Pune in the first semifinal while Karnataka will take on Vidarbha in the second semifinal.

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“Shami and Wriddhiman Saha will turn up for Bengal while Ishant Sharma might turn up for Delhi. Umesh Yadav will get to play for Vidarbha against Karnataka which will have K.L. Rahul in their ranks. Since there aren’t any practice games in South Africa, it is only fair that they play Ranji Trophy,” a senior BCCI official told PTI here today.

It is learnt that the national selectors also wanted the Test specialists to play the semifinal.

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When asked CAB joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya said, “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 a semifinal, it will be a boost for the Bengal team to get two of its senior most players,” Dalmiya said.

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However, when contacted, a senior DDCA official said that there is still no clarity whether Ishant will be available for the match.

Ishant, who captained the side impressively at the group league stage, bowled brilliantly taking 20 wickets in four games.

The final is set to be played at the Holkar Stadium in Indore from December 29.

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