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Twenty20 WC: Dravid, Tendulkar opt out
July 07, 2007 15:07 IST
Last Updated: July 07, 2007 15:44 IST
Three senior pros -- captain Rahul Dravid [Images], Sachin Tendulkar [Images] and Sourav Ganguly [Images] -- have opted out of the inaugural Twenty20 cricket World Cup in South Africa as the national selectors on Saturday announced a list of 30 Indian probables, which included out-of-favour players like Virender Sehwag [Images] and Harbhajan Singh [Images].
Paceman Irfan Pathan [Images], who has also been out of the Indian team for long, has been named in the list which has a number of young players who have performed consistently at domestic level.
Mohammad Kaif and Suresh Raina have also got the nod from the selection committee while Neeraj Patel (Gujarat), Karan Goel (Punjab), Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (Bengal), Cheteshwar Pujara (Saurashtra), Niranjan Behera (Orissa), Anirudha Srikkanth (Tamil Nadu) and Praveen Kumar (Uttar Pradesh) were some of the youngsters chosen in the list.
The final squad for the championship to be held in South Africa from September 11 to 24 would be selected on August 6 or 7, Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Niranjan Shah said.
National selection committee chief Dilip Vengsarkar said Dravid called him from Hove to inform that the three senior players were opting out of the Twenty20 World Cup.
"I got a call from Rahul today morning who said on behalf of all the three players that they were opting out of the Twenty20 World Cup," Vengsarkar said.
Asked why the trio, who have played tremendous amount of cricket at the highest level, had opted out, the 'Colonel' said: "I think they wanted to give chance to youngsters".
With the big three opting out and two other seniors -- Anil Kumble and V V S Laxman -- not in the running, the selectors had the option to induct a number of youngsters.
"I am sure the youngsters chosen for the Twenty20 tournament would do well," said Vengsarkar.
The selectors also chose the India A squad for the month-long tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya starting later this month.
Kaif will lead the team while Gujarat wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel would be his deputy for the tour starting July 21.
Asked why Raina and Munaf Patel [Images] were not chosen in the 'A' team squad, Vengsarkar said: "I don't think they are 100 per cent fit. Let them play in tournaments like Buchi Babu and Atreya Trophy".
Probables for Twenty20 World Cup: Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh [Images], Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images], Mohammad Kaif, Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir [Images], Yousuf Pathan, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Neeraj Patel, Karan Goel, Cheteshwar Pujara, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Rudra Pratap Singh, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan [Images], Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar [Images], S Sreesanth [Images], Munaf Patel, Joginder Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Ramesh Powar, Rajesh Pawar, Niranjan Behera, Anirudha Srikkanth, Praveen Kumar.
India A team: Mohammad Kaif (captain), Parthiv Patel (vice-captain), Robin Uthappa, Cheteshwar Pujara, S Badrinath, Rohit Sharma, Rajesh Pawar, Mahesh Rawat (wk), Piyush Chawla, Arjun Yadav, Pragyan Ojha, Irfan Pathan, V R V Singh, V Yo Mahesh, Pankaj Singh and Neeraj Patel.