Johannesburg: There’s a possibility that some leading Indian players may make themselves unavailable for next month’s tri-series in Bangladesh. Besides India and the hosts, the tournament will feature South Africa.
“Nothing is confirmed but, informally, there has been a discussion in some quarters. However, nothing will move forward till Sunday’s World Cup final (against Australia) is out of the way,” a well-placed source told The Telegraph Friday evening.
It’s possible that a “representation” will be made to Board president Jagmohan Dalmiya, who is already in South Africa. Actually, not only the top guns, just about everybody needs a break.
Meanwhile, quick Zaheer Khan has denied a report (from England) that he will be turning out for Warwickshire in the first six weeks of the forthcoming County season. “I’ve only been approached to take Shane Bond’s place for the first few weeks. Fact is, the offer hasn’t even reached the negotiation stage,” Zaheer informed, soon after the Indians’ arrival from Durban.
Jawagal Srinath, though, has confirmed he is heading for Durham — on a short-term assignment — as bowling coach-cum-player, on the lines of Allan Donald’s arrangement with Warwickshire not too long ago.
“I’ll be signing the contract in a day or two,” Srinath said, talking exclusively. If Zaheer also signs on the dotted line, the county circuit will (at the start, at least) have four Indians — the others being Harbhhajan Singh (Lancashire) and Virender Sehwag (Leicestershire).
Incidentally, no decision has been taken on whether Ashish Nehra will undergo surgery on his left ankle immediately after the World Cup. “Abhi kuch theek nahin hai,” he pointed out.
No chartered flight
Meanwhile, Sahara India Pariwar’s chartered flight (for the benefit of Sourav Ganguly and Co.) has become a non-starter — owing to the conflict in the Middle East. Apparently, New Delhi refused permission as the scheduled refuelling halt was “close” to an American base.
Air India, on the other hand, is running a special flight.