|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Deodhar Trophy match to decide Irfan's WC fate
Harish Kotian in Mumbai | February 23, 2007 13:33 IST
Last Updated: February 23, 2007 17:34 IST
Chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar on Friday said fast bowler Irfan Pathan's participation in the World Cup will depend on his performance in the Deodhar Trophy match between West and Central Zone in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
"If he is not able to prove his fitness in the Deodhar Trophy match, he will not go to the World Cup," Vengsarkar said in Mumbai, at an event to announce Johnnie Walker's association as the 'Official Sponsor' of the 2007 World Cup.
He said Pathan had declared himself unfit earlier and hence wasn't played in the four-match one-day series against Sri Lanka.
Vengsarkar also added that the selectors would only look at his fitness, not form in the match, and there would be no fitness test before the game.
"We will watch him in the match, because I feel match-fitness is very important. He hasn't played any game since that match in Baroda [against the West Indies on January 31] so I hope he can prove his fitness. We will not monitor his form, but fitness will be very important for Pathan," Vengsarkar said.
He also added that Indian team physio John Gloster will not be there to monitor Pathan's fitness, only three of the selectors will be there.
The left-armer will play for the Amol Muzumdar-led West Zone against Central Zone.
The first three matches of the Deodhar Trophy will be held at Ahmedabad's Motera stadium while the latter stages of the tournament, to be played on a league format, will be in Mumbai, at the Brabourne and Wankhede stadium.
Pathan has played just one match at the international level after being sent back unceremoniously from the South Africa tour before the conclusion of the Test series.
"It is a very freak injury I would say. He was doing some extra exercise, and he got unfit because of that, which I feel is very unfortunate," the chairman of selectors said.
The former India batsman said the left-armer's all-round skills make him a key player in the Indian squad.
"Irfan is a fantastic cricketer. If he is fit he will be a great asset to the team [at the World Cup]. He has done extremely well in the past. I think he is a promising cricketer, a good all-rounder and has done really well, so that is why we have picked him. I am sure he will do well in the World Cup," Vengsarkar added.
The team will depart for the West Indies on January 28. India is drawn in Group B and plays its first match on March 17, against Bangaldesh. Sri Lanka and Bermuda are the other teams in the group.
Some of the Deodhar Trophy matches will be shown live on Neo Sports.
The Cup: The Complete Coverage
Would you like to join the Cricket and Cricket Lovers Discussion Group and discuss your cricket views with other cricket freaks? Click here. Have fun!