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JSCA names 24 for U-16 selection trials

The Jharkhand State Cricket Association on Friday named 24 probables, including five new faces, for a two-day selection trial to determine the final squad for the U-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy that is scheduled to start on November 26.

The trials, which will be held in Bokaro on November 12 and 13, will see the players sweat it out on the turf in an attempt to impress and bag a place in the final 15.

Those named for the two-day selection trials are Virat Singh, Prasenjeet Patra, Amardeep Singh, Sonu Kumar Singh (Jamshedpur), Chand Jha, Amar Kumar Sah, Kumar Sunny (Deoghar), Nazir Alam, Aditya Verma (Dhanbad), Vikash Vishal, Kaushal Kishore, Vijay Jena, Wilfred Beng, Surendra Kumar, Rakesh Tiwary (Ranchi), Pranay Kumar (West Singhbhum), Ritesh Ritu Raj (Latehar), Premchand Kumar, Sumit Kumar, Krishna Patel (Bokaro), Amit Kumar Singh (Pakur), Prem Kumar (Giridih), Rakesh Kumar Singh (Seraikela-Kharsawan) and Amarendra Kumar Singh (Hazaribagh).

Interestingly, medium pacer Prem Kumar, batsmen Prasenjit Patra and Amardeep Singh, wicket-keeper Vijay Jena and off-spinner Aditya Verma are the only ones who were named in the shortlist on the basis of their performances in the U-16 inter-zonal tournament, which concluded in Bokaro on Friday. These players had also not been part of the three coaching and conditioning camps that were held at Chaibasa in September and October this year.

“We had put 35 players through their paces at the three camps at Chaibasa after which 16 were dropped from the selection process. The remaining have been called up for the selection camp in Bokaro,” said JSCA assistant secretary Ashim Kumar Singh.

He added that they were hopeful of a good performance in the U-16 tourney, as all the players they were eyeing had shown promise to excel in big-ticket matches ahead. “The final squad will be selected wholly on the performances of players in the Bokaro camp,” Singh said.

The selection trials are to be held under the watchful eyes of the chairman of the junior selection panel Milan Dutta, with JSCA secretary Rajesh Kumar likely to join him during the proceedings.

Jharkhand will play their opening match of Vijay Merchant Trophy against Odisha at Bokaro (from November 26-28). The state’s second match will be against Bengal at Krishnagar (from December 2-4) while the third will be versus Tripura, at Ranchi (from December 8-10). Jharkhand will take on Assam in their last match at Chaibasa from December 14-16.

The state, which managed to reach the quarter finals of the Vijay Merchant Trophy last year, before losing to Mumbai, will be counting its chances this year also.

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