Calcutta: Most of the leading national cricketers are likely to participate in this year’s Challenger Trophy.
The meet is to be held early next month either in Bangalore or Chennai, so that the players can have “some practice” ahead of the home series against New Zealand.
India have not played any international match since the Dhaka tri-series in April and their next engagement is on October 8 — when the first Test against New Zealand starts.
According to a BCCI official, the Challenger Trophy will be followed by the Irani Trophy between the Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai and the Rest of India, in an obvious attempt to bring the players back in playing condition.
The venue and date of the Irani Trophy is yet to be finalised, but it will be held before the Board President’s XI versus New Zealand encounter from September 26 to 28 in Visakhapatnam, he added.
Meanwhile, the BCCI is planning to have zonal wings of the proposed spin academy, following in the footsteps of the National Cricket Academy (NCA). It will start with each zone, with a given number of players, from which a selective few will make it to the national congregation.
Interestingly, the current players like Utpal Chatterjee and Harbhajan Singh, who had attended the May 30 Spinners’ Conclave in the city, may have “selective roles” in grooming the future generation of spinners.
“It may happen that Utpal will be asked to teach the spinners in the zonal wing for a few days,” the BCCI official said. “The NCA director Brijesh Patel is working on the matter and the BCCI is expected to finalise the details of the programme within a month.
“However, with the hectic domestic schedule, the implementation of the academy may be delayed till February, next year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Debapriya Ghosh of Durgapur CC has been picked as the year’s best sub-junior player in the state.