Maharashtra says no to a replacement for Pandey

Karnataka made a request to the match referee Pranab Roy for a replacement since Pandey was called for National duty. When Roy approached Maharashtra skipper Swapnil Gugale for his consent, he declined the request.

Manish Pandey

Manish Pandey may not get into the fourth Test’s playing XI since opener K.L. Rahul is reportedly fit and raring to go   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

Karnataka was left with mixed feelings after Manish Pandey was drafted into the Indian squad ahead of the third Test match against England starting on Thursday.

No doubt, skipper Vinay Kumar was happy for the team’s key batsman who was answering a call from the national selectors for the Test squad, but he also had to deal with the fact that Karnataka was left with one member less to bat in the remainder of its last league match against Maharashtra.

>Ranji report

With no flight taking off from Chandigarh due to inclement weather, Pandey started for Delhi by road around 4 pm and was expected to reach Mumbai after taking a flight around midnight from the National Capital.

Karnataka made a request to the match referee Pranab Roy for a replacement since Pandey was called for national duty. Roy consulted Mr. M. V. Sridhar, GM of Board’s Cricket Operations and as suggested, spoke to Maharashtra skipper Swapnil Gugale for his consent to allow a replacement for Pandey.

Gugale flatly declined the request. “There was no question of allowing a replacement considering the situation we are in the league. We are playing for six points to qualify for the quarterfinals,” said Gugale, who also recalled a similar instance when Maharashtra said “no” to a replacement when Tamil Nadu’s M. Vijay was asked to join the National team midway through a Ranji Trophy match.

Roy said, “We went by the rules. Rules are clear that a replacement can be allowed subject to the consent of the captain of the opposing team. But when fielding in the second innings, Karnataka will be allowed a substitute fielder.”

This was indeed a double blow for Karnataka on the opening day of its final league match. Before Pandey was summoned to join the Test squad in Mumbai to replace Ajinkya Rahane, who dislocated a finger-bone at the nets on Wednesday morning, back spasm forced fast bowler A. Mithun to leave the field after he had bowled only two deliveries.

Pandey is not sure of getting into the fourth Test’s playing XI since opener K.L. Rahul is reportedly fit and raring to go and fellow-Karnataka teammate Karun Nair is unlikely to be dropped immediately after his debut here last month.

“In case Pandey is not chosen to play the Test and the team management relieves him, he can rejoin this match,” confirmed Roy.