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September 5, 2007
A second-string Mumbai team is scheduled to arrive in Karachi today for the Nissar Trophy four-day match against Karachi Urban, the Pakistan domestic champions. The squad has lost majority of its big names due to pullouts and non-availabilities.
In the revised squad announced before departure, only five players actually played for Mumbai in the 2006-07 Ranji Trophy which the team won. Captain Amol Muzumdar had declared himself unavailable because of his league engagements in England while Rohit Sharma, with the Indian team in England, was also not available. Wasim Jaffer, India's Test opener, who was later named captain of the touring team, opted out due to a minor knee injury while former international Nilesh Kulkarni was omitted from the squad because of an alleged connection with the Indian Cricket League (ICL). Crowd-pullers Sachin Tendulkar, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan and Ramesh Powar were already ruled out due to their involvement in India's on-going tour of England.
Mumbai have now appointed batsman Bhavin Thakkar as their captain, a player who was not in the original squad. Only Sahil Kukreja, Vinayak Mane, Hiken Shah, Abhishek Nayar and Rajesh Verma of the initially-announced touring side played for Mumbai in last season's Ranji Trophy. Now, Thakkar, Kshemal Waingankar and Mudeep Mungela have been added to the team, all with Ranji Trophy experience in 2006-07. Several of the remaining players, including Omkar Gurav, Iqbal Abdulla and Vikrant Yeligati have yet to appear in any first-class matches.
The one-off match is to be played at the National Stadium from September 8 to 11. Last year, in the first match of its kind, played in India, Uttar Pradesh comprehensively beat Sialkot by 316 runs.
The Karachi Urban squad is yet to be announced.
Mumbai: Bhavin Thakkar (capt), Sahil Kukreja, Vinayak Mane, Prashant Naik, Ajinkya Rahane, Vinit Indulkar, Hiken Shah, Abhishek Nayar, Omkar Gurav (wk), Kshemal Waingankar, Mudeep Mungela, Aavishkar Salvi, Rajesh Verma, Iqbal Abdulla, Vikrant Yeligati.
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