Rajasthan imports two English cricketers November 16, 2006

Solanki and Kabir Ali arrive in India

Cricinfo staff



Vikram Solanki returns to the state of his birth - Rajasthan - to play in the Ranji Trophy © Getty Images

The international flavour in Indian domestic cricket is getting stronger and stronger with Vikram Solanki and Kabir Ali being the two latest imports. They will turn out for Rajasthan in the Elite Group of the Ranji Trophy as well as in the domestic one-day competition.

Solanki, who was born in Udaipur in Rajasthan, plays for Worcestershire in the County Championship, and has been spoken about as being a strong candidate to lead Rajasthan in this year's competition. He arrived in India on Wednesday along with Kabir and was received at the airport by Murali Kartik, the Indian left-arm spinner, who is an old friend of Solanki's.

This follows the news that Sarfaraz Nawaz, the former Pakistan fast bowler, is scheduled to conduct a seven-day coaching stint with Delhi's fast bowlers. However, neither are firsts. Maharashtra have employed Darren Holder, the Australian, as coach for some time now, and Punjab used the services of Intikhab Alam, the former Pakistani captain. Technically, neither Solanki nor Kabir will be the first foreign players to compete in Indian domestic cricket.

Nayan Doshi, who, like his father Dilip, also bowls left-arm spin, has turned out for Saurashtra, the state his family originally hails from. Nayan, who lives in England now and turns out for Surrey, is a British passport holder, so he would technically qualify as a foreign player. Jermaine Lawson, the West Indies fast bowler, has been recently linked with Maharashtra.

The rules allow each state team to field up to three "professionals" - players from outside the state in the XI. Cricketers moving from state to another have to obtain a no-objection certificate from their home states, but, of course, no such thing exists for cricketers who come from outside the country.

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