Badani thrilled to play in front of home crowd

Published: Tuesday, October 21, 2003, 2:24 [IST]
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Chennai: It was worth the wait for stylish left hand batsman, Hemang K Badani, who has been picked up to play in place of indisposed captain Saurav Ganguly, for India against New Zealand in the opener of the tri-nation One-day series at Chennai on Thursday. The Tamil Nadu top order batsman had knocked on the doors of the National team after carving out couple of centuries and finishing on top with best averages during India 'A' team tour of England recently.

"It is the best moment for me to be playing before the home crowd. There is no greater honour than being selected for the country, however you perform in domestic tournaments", was his reaction on being informed of his selection to play in the One- day triangular series, involving Australia as the third team. "I have been working hard towards this and done very well for the past five months", he said adding "I finished with an average of 130 per cent in the challenger series and 110 per cent in the India 'A' tour of England, besides a century in the Ranji final against Mumbai in April last".

He said he had been performing well in the side games too. "I have batted well in side games too and I was hoping that I will get an opportunity", he said. "Definitely, I will try my best and rise to the expectations. Moreover I love to bat before my home crowd", a beaming Badani, face clearly reflecting his immense joy, said.

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