Ranji Trophy: Goa ropes in Smit Patel as C.M. Gautam’s replacement

Smit Patel, a seasoned first-class cricketer, replaces C.M. Gautam, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the KPL spot-fixing scandal.

Smit Patel has featured in 45 first-class fixtures for Gujarat and Tripura.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

Ahead of the Ranji Trophy, the Goa Cricket Association has roped in Smit Patel as the replacement for CM Gautam -- who was arrested by the Central Crime Branch Bangalore for his alleged involvement in the Karnataka Premier League spot-fixing scandal.

With Gautam and Abrar Kazi -- who was earlier named the captain of Mizoram -- arrested, both Goa Cricket Association and the Cricket Association of Mizoram had written to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), asking for a replacement player.

Read: Special investigation team formed to go deeper into the KPL fixing scandal

While both the teams had to play the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy without any replacements, GCA has now decided to rope in Patel for the Ranji Trophy.

Mizoram Cricket Association has shortlisted a couple of candidates, but is yet to zero in on a name. A decision is expected on Sunday, when the members of the association meets.

“We have decided to rope in Smit. He fulfills our requirement. He will join us for a camp in a couple of days,” GCA secretary, Vipul Phadke, told Sportstar.

The 26-year-old Patel is a seasoned wicketkeeper-batsman, who has featured in 45 first-class fixtures for Gujarat and Tripura. He was also one of the key members of the India U-19 team, which clinched the World Cup title in 2012, under the captaincy of Unmukt Chand. He played for Tripura last season.