India's premier Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara will play for Team Zalawad Royals in the inaugural Saurashtra Premier League, it was announced on Thursday.
"Cheteshwar shall play Saurashtra Premier League T20 Tournament from Team Zalawad Royals," a statement from Saurashtra Cricket Association said.
"As players drafting was done on May 4, SPL governing council decided to have drafting system in format of draw for Cheteshwar in presence of representatives of all teams, former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah, SCA office bearers, SPL Governing Council, representatives of independent auditor and Cheteshwar himself," the release added.
As per the statement, Shah informed that in 'true spirit of cricket', Kutch Warriors withdrew from draw process of Cheteshwar as they already had pace bowler Jaydev Unadkat in their squad.
Cheteshwar was then asked to pick a chit from the draw bowl having closed chits of four teams --- Gohilwad Gladiators, Sorath Lions, Halar Heroes and Zalawad Royals. The Indian Test batting star picked the chit of Team Zalawad Royals.
Akhtar comes out in support of Afridi
Shoaib Akhtar has come in support of his ex-teammate Shahid Afridi, stating that he was witness to the harsh treatment meted out to the former Pakistan all-rounder by some senior players during his playing days.
In his autobiography titled Game Changer, Afridi has claimed that he was at the receiving end of harsh treatment by seniors during his playing days and cited the example of former coach Javed Miandad, who according to him did not let him bat at the nets before a Test against India in Chennai in 1999.
"I think Shahid Afridi has written less in his book about the harsh treatment he received from senior players during his playing days. I witnessed some of it with my own eyes and totally agree with him," Akhtar was quoted as saying in a TV programme.
Akhtar also claimed that 10 senior players had later apologised to them.
"Later down the years, 10 of these senior players asked us for forgiveness, before leaving for Umrah, for the way they treated us," he said.
Citing his personal problems during his playing days, Akhtar even went on to claim that some senior players tried to engage in physical altercation with him.
"Once during a tour of Australia, four players approached with the intention of hitting me with a bat," said the 43-year-old former speedster.
Soon after Afridi came out with the revelations in his book, out-of-favour Imran Farhat accused the former all-rounder of being a "selfish player" who ruined many careers.
Rege returns as Mumbai's chief cricket selector
The Mumbai Cricket Association on Thursday announced that former off-spinner Milind Rege would be heading its senior selection committee for the 2019-2020 season.
Rege, who has served as Mumbai's chief selector earlier also, will head the four-member selection panel.
Apart from Rege, the senior selection committee, which picks up squads for the Ranji Trophy (multi-day), Vijay Hazare (ODI) and Syad Mushtaq Ali Trophy (T20) - comprises Guru Gupte, Shridhar Mandale and Sanjay Patil, the MCA said in a media statement.
The 70-year-old Rege, during his career played 52 first class matches for Mumbai and took 126 wickets, conceding 3,683 runs.
Rege will also head the Under-23 selection committee.
The city's cricket body also announced various other selection committees for the upcoming season.
Among other significant appointments, Kalpana Murkar, the daughter of noted coach Ramakant Achrekar, was appointed chairperson of the Under-19 and Under-16 girls selection committee.
The MCA selection committees for various age groups:
Senior selection committee: Milind Rege chairman - Guru Gupte, Shridhar Mandale and Sanjay Patil (members).
Under 23 selection committee: Milind Rege chairman - Guru Gupte, Shridhar Mandale and Sanjay Patil (members).
Under-19 selection committee: Sanjay Patil chairman - Rajesh Pawar, Rajesh Sutar, Santosh Shinde and Mandar Phadke (members).
Under-16 selection committee: Mandar Phadke chairman - Mayur Kadrekar, Piyush Soneji, Ashutosh Dube and Nilesh Bhosale (members).
Under-14 selection committee: Ravi Kulkarni - chairman - Sanjeev Jadhav, Nilesh Patwardhan, Girish Patki and Amol Bhalekar (members).
Under-12 selection committee: Ravi Kulkarni - chairman - Sanjeev Jadhav, Nilesh Patwardhan, Girish Patki and Amol Bhalekar (members).
Senior womens selection committee: Vrunda Bhagat - chairperson - Arundhati Ghosh, Surekha Bhandare and Sandhya Relekar (members).
Under-23 women's selection committee Vrunda Bhagat - chairperson - Arundhati Ghosh, Surekha Bhandare and Sandhya Relekar (members).
Under-19 girls selection committee Kalpana Murkar - chairperson - Sangeeta Kamat, Seema Pujare Apoorva Kokil and Veena Paralkar (members).
Under-16 girls selection committee: Kalpana Murkar - chairperson - Sangeeta Kamat, Seema Pujare, Apoorva Kokil and Veena Paralkar (members).