हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Chopra: Board rejects Gangulys plea

Published: Monday, December 18, 2000, 23:00 [IST]
 
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Cuttack: Indian off-spinner Nikhil Chopra was on Friday barred from playing in the One-day series against Zimbabwe despite being included in the 14-man squad. Indian cricket chiefs ruled that Chopra, who was investigated in the match-fixing scandal but cleared by federal investigators for lack of evidence, will not play in the five-match series starting here on Saturday.The selectors picked Chopra for the first three One-dayers on the recommendation of captain Saurav Ganguly, but the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) overturned his selection."We have been advised not to consider Chopra for the series," a team spokesman said, but refused to elaborate.Officials declined to comment on criticism that the selectors should have been told not to consider Chopra before they picked the squad. The strange turnabout left Ganguly and coach John Wright a player short and without an off-spinner to counter the string of left-handers in the Zimbabwean ranks."It's something only the selectors and the Board can answer," a non-committal Ganguly said. "We have to play with the team we have." Chopra's home in New Delhi was raided by Income-Tax authorities in August, but the Central Bureau of Investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by the player in it's match-fixing report.With Chopra unavailable, the Indians short-listed 12 for the opening match, with either rookie all-rounder Reetinder Sodhi or young Test opener Shiv Das expected to sit out. India will also be without pace spearhead Javagal Srinath, who opted out of the One-dayers after helping the hosts win the two-Test series 1-0 earlier this week.The batting strength of the rivals, which produced three double centuries and six hundreds in the two Tests, promises exciting fare in the One-day Internationals."It will be a close series because of the depth of batting on both sides," Ganguly predicted after a close inspection of the newly-laid wicket at the Barabati stadium here."There will be plenty of runs which should please the crowds," he said. Zimbabwe, looking for their first One-day win over India in the sub-continent, will name their team after seamer Travis Friend undergoes a fitness Test for his shoulder injury before the toss on Saturday."Our batting form has put us in the right frame of mind for the series," touring captain Heath Streak said. "This is our best chance to beat the Indians." Copyright @2000 AFP. All rights reserved

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