Bangalore, Sep 10: Will Sachin Tendulkar feature in 2012-13 domestic season opener Irani Cup this month? That is the question doing the rounds now as the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) selectors meet today (September 10) to pick the Rest of India (ROI) squad.
Irani Cup, India's domestic season curtain raiser will be played between ROI and Ranji Trophy champions. Rajasthan, the current holders of Ranji Trophy will face ROI from September 21 to 25 at a venue still undecided. Jaipur was picked as the city earlier but had to be moved out due to Sawai Mansingh Stadium not ready due to rains.
With concerns over Tendulkar's recent form, where he was bowled thrice in three innings against New Zealand, many feel he should get enough match practice by playing this tie.
But unless Tendulkar makes himself available, it is unlikely that the senior selection committee will include him in the squad which is in all likelihood made of youngsters.
It is is said that Cheteshwar Pujara will lead the ROI side. But the biggest question now is whether Tendulkar is in that squad or not.
Usually, Irani Cup has been devoid of star players. Even now, the Indian squad will be in Sri Lanka for the ICC World Twenty20 2012 which starts on September 18. On the same day, India 'A' tour begins in New Zealand.
So most of the players are either in India Twenty20 team or India 'A'. S Badrinath and Ajinkya Rahane are available as they are not par of these squads.
It is also said that the selectors would reward India Under-19 World Cup winning players with ROI berths.
Within the next few hours we will know whether Tendulkar opts for ROI squad or prefers himself to stay away from competitive cricket for some more days.
Tendulkar's next tournament would be the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa where he will play for Mumbai Indians in October.