The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Srinath for Sunday’s showdown

Colombo: Jawagal Srinath will join the Indian squad Saturday morning to play the final of the ICC Champions Trophy.

The Indian team management had asked for his services after Ashish Nehra split the webbing between the middle and ring fingers of his left hand during Wednesday’s semi-final versus South Africa. He required five stitches.

Srinath’s availability was confirmed after the team management spoke to chief selector Brijesh Patel this morning.

“He is the best and only a fast bowler can replace a fast bowler,” said Sourav Ganguly.

The Indian skipper, however, didn’t rule out Ajit Agarkar’s chances. The Mumbai player was the third seamer in the original squad. “He (Agarkar) might still play,” Sourav said.

The Indians had a light ‘optional’ practice session in the morning with some of the players deciding to opt out. Sourav, though, was busy with a commercial shoot for one of the official sponsors of the tournament.

PTI adds from Mumbai: There was drama before the announcement was made that Srinath will actually fly to Colombo.

New BCCI secretary S.K. Nair had said in the morning that there was no chance of sending Srinath to Colombo since there was no such request from the team management.

His stand changed dramatically in the afternoon, reportedly following a conversation with team manager K.M. Ramprasad.

In a statement, Nair said that after getting the Srinath green signal from the selection committee, which met here earlier in the day, the Board sought permission from ICC, which gave its consent. Nair then spoke to Srinath who also agreed to play in the final.

Srinath had opted out of Tests after the West Indies tour, but he was available for one-dayers. He was not picked for the NatWest Trophy and was ignored again when the original squad for Champions Trophy was selected.

Srinath’s inclusion leaves a question mark over the selection of Agarkar, who was picked ahead of the Karnataka veteran.

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