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Senior players may skip Dhaka tourney

Source: PTI
March 31, 2003 15:28 IST
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Having played non-stop cricket for almost 18 months, Sachin Tendulkar and some of the senior players of India's World Cup squad may skip the forthcoming triangular series in Dhaka.

The senior players, including Javagal Srinath and the injured Rahul Dravid, want a break following the team's splendid campaign in the World Cup and are expected to make themselves unvailable before the selection committee meets in Mumbai on April 2.

However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has not yet received any official communication from the players.

"We have still not received any communication from the players yet. We will get some information on their availability by tomorrow," Board secretary S K Nair said in Thiruvananthapuram.

"We are aware that some of the players are carrying injuries and may not be fully fit for the tournament. We will have a clearer picture by tomorrow when we expect to hear from them," Nair said.

While vice-captain Rahul Dravid and paceman Ashish Nehra are carrying injuries, which they sustained during the World Cup, pace spearhead Javagal Srinath and leg spinner Anil Kumble are expected to be rested for the triangular series, which has hosts Bangladesh and South Africa as the other teams.

Tendulkar is not keen to travel to Dhaka and reportedly wants to rest his injured finger. Dravid also injured his finger during the World Cup semi-final encounter against Kenya while Nehra's ankle injury may keep him out of action for about five months.

Tendulkar, who bagged the coveted man-of-the-tournament award in the World Cup with an aggregate of 673 runs, does not want to aggravate his injury further, according to Board sources.

The senior players are likely to argue that they have been playing non-stop cricket for the last 18 months and the World Cup has left them "physically and mentally" drained.

But the Board, which had committed to take part in the Dhaka tournament even before the World Cup, may persuade some of them to play since India has no engagements after the tournament.

The selectors will meet in Mumbai on Wednesday to pick the 14-member squad for the triangular series, to be held at the Bangabandhu stadium in Dhaka from April 11 to 20. India open their campaign against hosts Bangladesh in a day-night encounter on the inaugural day.

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