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Tri-series squad may have 16
- Anil Kumble’s recovery for Champions Trophy on track

Calcutta: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) won’t object if the senior national selectors wish to send a 16th player for the September 12-24 tri-series in Kuala Lumpur. While the West Indies have picked 14, world champions Australia have chosen as many as 18.

“That won’t be a problem, even though all teams are supposed to pick only 15... The expenses of the extra player will then be taken care of by the BCCI,” secretary Niranjan Shah told The Telegraph on Friday evening. In any case, the tournament has been put together by the BCCI.

The squad is to be chosen in Mumbai on Sunday afternoon. The Champions Trophy 14 is also going to be picked at the same meeting. Shah confirmed captain Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell will be present.

“In normal circumstances, the BCCI would have insisted on just 15 being picked, but the Champions Trophy isn’t many weeks away and, so, the selectors may want some kind of rest — and rotation in Kuala Lumpur. An extra player is going to be required for that,” Shah added.

While it’s to be seen whether a 16th player is chosen, it’s certain that the squad which went to Sri Lanka — and returned without playing a single ODI — will be retained.

After all, on what grounds can anybody be dropped'

Shah, meanwhile, informed that Anil Kumble’s recovery from “tendinitis” on his right shoulder is on track. “I spoke to the physio (John Gloster) earlier in the day and he indicated things are fine... In fact, he’s confident Kumble is going be fit before our first match in the Champions Trophy (October 15, against England)...”

The veteran, who will turn 36 next month, is currently on a rehab programme in hometown Bangalore.

With such a positive medical update, Kumble’s return to the one-day squad after 13 months is as good as guaranteed. Ramesh Powar is the one expected to make way.

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