Guwahati, Oct. 17: The Assam Cricket Association’s (ACA) cup of woes, as far as the preparation of the state Ranji team is concerned, continues to brim over.
With barely a fortnight left for the Ranji plate group campaign to commence, the ACA today suffered another setback with Tamil Nadu recruit Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad opting out of the season ahead because of a knee injury he sustained during the recent Champions League T20 tournament.
In an email to the ACA, the left arm spinner, who represented Royal Challengers, Bangalore, in the T20 league, said he would not be available for the season, as he would undergo a knee surgery in Sri Lanka and has been advised six months rest thereafter.
The ACA had earlier suffered the loss of ace offie Arlen Konwar and paceman Ranjeet Mali to Railways.
Syed Mohammad, who is yet to make his first class debut, was signed as a replacement for Konwar whom his employers, Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB), have named as a probable for the season ahead.
Konwar has, however, opted out of the season opener Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Twenty20 North Zone tournament, beginning on October 20, because of a boil on his arm.The RSPB has also named Mali as one of their probables for the season.
The ACA has moved the BCCI today to grant special permission to recruit another outstation professional to replace Syed Mohammad.
“We have applied for special permission, as Syed Mohammad was yet to play for Assam and we are short of a spinner. Board secretary Sanjay Jagdale and (chief administration officer) R.S. Shetty have assured us that the president (N. Srinivasan) could exercise his discretionary power to facilitate our engaging another guest player,” ACA secretary Bikash Baruah said.
He added that there was no restriction in the BCCI rules, as the player concerned was yet to represent the state in any of the BCCI tournaments.
Sources in the ACA said there were efforts on to bring Konwar back to the state side.
Konwar had offered his services to the state in spite of being named in the Railways list of probables.
With a strong pace line-up and batting order, the state team probables’ list was still short of an experienced spinner. Prakash Bhagat, Prasanta Sonowal and Bichitra Baruah are the only three options left with the selectors. However, all the three lacked the necessary exposure to shoulder the Ranji Trophy pressure.