Indian news August 28, 2009

Badani to play for Rajasthan

Cricinfo staff

Hemang Badani, who will make a comeback to mainstream cricket after severing ties with the ICL, will represent Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy Plate League when the Indian domestic season begins later this year. Badani was a part of his state side, Tamil Nadu, for over ten years before opting to join the unauthorised ICL. He was one of 79 Indian players to accept the BCCI's offer of amnesty in exchange for quitting the league.

"They (Rajasthan Cricket Association) have been in discussions with me," Badani was quoted as saying in the Hindu. "I was also considering Assam and Goa before deciding to play for Rajasthan. "I've been very happy with how I've come back in the (first-division) league here, and put runs on the board. I'm really looking forward to proper cricket after two years of what was like exile."

Badani, 32, has represented India in four Tests and 40 ODIs. He's played 96 first-class games, averaging 47.91 and scoring 13 centuries, and while in the ICL, played for Chennai Superstars. Badani was overlooked for the Buchi Babu tournament, conducted by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), and wasn't picked either in the TNCA XI or the TNCA Presidents XI.

Badani, however, was not disappointed with his exclusion. "It makes perfect sense," he said. "I spoke to (TNCA) officials, and they said they were looking to the future. The youngsters who have come in have done really well, making it to the semifinals (last season). It (picking me over them) would have given a negative vibe to the youngsters."

Badani has been handed a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the TNCA, which he has forwarded to the BCCI and the Rajasthan Cricket Association (DCA).

Rajasthan were relegated to the Plate League of the Ranji Trophy after finishing at the bottom of their group in last year's Super League phase of the tournament.