Twenty20 probables sans Sachin, Dravid and Sourav

Published: Monday, July 2, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:India's experienced batting trio of Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly were not named in a preliminary squad of 30 players for this year's inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September.

"They opted out and conveyed their decision to us," Indian board secretary Niranjan Shah told reporters on Saturday.

Earlier the trio in a letter written to BCCI had asked the latter not to consider them for the tournament scheduled to be held in South Africa.

They might have told the board that Twenty20 cricket is a young man's game and up and coming younger players should be given a chance.

The squad, which will be reduced to 15 players in the middle of July, includes opener Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan, Irfan, Munaf who were ignored for the England tour, and some of the country's most promising youngsters.

UP batsmen Mohammad Kaif and Suresh Raina also finds place in the preliminary squad.

Selection committee headed by Dilip Vengsarkar has given nod for a horde of newcomers some on performance and some on sheer potentiality. Promising batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara (Saurashtra) makes the cut with JhunJhunwala (Bengal), Neeraj Patel (Gujrat), Behara (Orissa), Aniruddah Srikkanth (TN) while bowling all-rounders Joginder Sharma and Praveen Kumar, backed with some good performances last season, forced themselves into the squad.

However Tamil Nadu batsman S Badrinath, yet again, misses the bus despite scoring tons of runs. With India captain Dravid opting out from the event, Dhoni and Yuvraj emerge as frontrunners for captaincy role.

Preliminary squad:

Robin Uthappa (Katk), Virender Sehwag (Delhi), Yuvraj Singh (Pun), Mahendra Dhoni (Jar), Mohammad Kaif (UP), Dinesh Karthik (TN), Rohit Sharma (Mum), Gautam Gambhir (Del), Yusuf Pathan (Bar), Suresh Raina (UP), Manoj Tiwary (Ben), Neeraj Patel (Guj), Karan Goel (Del), Cheteshwar Pujara (Sau), Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (Ben), Rudra Pratap Singh (UP), Ishant Sharma (Del), Zaheer Khan (Mum), Irfan Pathan (Bar), Ajit Agarkar (Mum), Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (Ker), Munaf Patel (Mah), Joginder Sharma (Har), Piyush Chawla (UP), Harbhajan Singh (Pun), Ramesh Powar (Mum), Rajesh Pawar (Asm), Niranjan Behara (Ori) and Aniruddh Srikkanth (TN) and Praveen Kumar (Har).

ThatsCricket (inputs from Agencies)

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