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Steel city duck in U-16 team
- Hazaribagh boy skipper

Jamshedpur has drawn a blank in the under-16 squad for the Vijay Merchant Trophy.

The 15-member outfit announced by Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) does not have a single player on the list.

Hazaribagh all-rounder Prashant Ranjan has been named skipper for the 2013-14 season.

It is for the first time the steel city will go unrepresented in the history of both the Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) or JSCA whose headquarters is located at Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur.

“This puts a question mark on the functioning of the JSCA which conducts the game from the steel city. It also puts a question mark on the cricket training centres that have mushroomed in Jamshedpur. The city going unrepresented points a finger at the level of training being given to budding players at these training centres,” a veteran member of the cricket association said on condition of anonymity.

Trashing the view of the member, his counterpart from Ranchi said the boys had been selected on merit. “The team composition shows that players from districts like Simdega, Lohardaga and Godda are prospering even though cricket infrastructure at these places stands nowhere in comparison to Jamshedpur,” he added.

JSCA assistant secretary and junior selection panel convener Aseem Kumar Singh said performance held the key to being selected in the team.

“No player from Jamshedpur found slots even in the shortlist of 35 announced by us. It is clear that the players missed out because of performance. Much should not be read into the team announced by us,” he added.

Apart from Ranjan, the squad comprises Imran Alam (Simdega), Nikhil Raj (Hazaribagh), Anukul Roy (Seraikela-Kharsawan), Vishwajeet Singh (West Singhbhum), Subham Kumar (Ranchi), Siddharth Kumar (Godda), Ankur Jha (Lohardaga), Mohit Kumar (Ranchi), Bal Krishna Sharma (Bokaro), Nishant Kumar Singh (Simdega), Roushan Kumar (Lohardaga), Shreyam Sundaram (Lohardaga), Sourav Suman (Bokaro) and Aditya Singh (Bokaro).

Samar Bose and Ranjeet Kumar have been named coach and manager respectively.

Jharkhand will open their campaign against Odisha in Bokaro from December 1-3.

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