India domestic news January 29, 2013

Dhoni, Ashwin and Pujara in Corporate Trophy squads

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MS Dhoni, Cheteshwar Pujara and R Ashwin, who are not part of next week's Irani Cup match, may end up playing in the Raj Singh Dungarpur Corporate Trophy, which is not even recognised as a List A event*.

On a leaflet circulated by the BCCI to all the four staging associations, Pujara's name appears in the Indian Oil squad, and those of Dhoni and Ashwin in India Cements'. Their names' appearing on the leaflet is no guarantee they will play the Corporate Trophy, but apart from Dhoni's case, who hinted at wanting rest, no explanation has been given for not picking Pujara and Ashwin for the marquee Irani Cup first-class match.

This also confirms that Dhoni has switched clubs from Air India to India Cements. India Cements is the company that owns the IPL Chennai Super Kings franchise, which Dhoni has captained since 2008, and has BCCI president N Srinivasan as its vice-chairman and managing director. The leaflet, made accessible to ESPNcricinfo on Tuesday, listed Dhoni as the 16th name in the India Cements squad. The leaflet also includes the names Wasim Jaffer, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Aditya Tare, who will be first-choice players for Ranji champions Mumbai.

When asked about Dhoni's move from Air India to India Cements last week, his manager Arun Pandey had denied that he would be playing in the Corporate Trophy. "How can he play Corporate Trophy? He has been playing non-stop cricket for so long," Pandey had said. Dhoni also said, after the final ODI against England, he wanted to make the most of the break he is getting before the Australia series.

Despite several attempts, none of the India Cements officials either confirmed Dhoni's recruitment or his designation as employee of the Chennai-based group. Until this announcement Dhoni had been employed by national carrier Air India. Air India Sports Promotional Board secretary Dilip Pinge confirmed Dhoni was no longer employed by them. "He used to be employed with [the airline] Indian before it was merged into Air India," Pinge said. "The Delhi office forwarded his resignation letter to us [Mumbai office] around four months ago. As a result, there was no question of considering him for the Corporate Trophy."

The Corporate Trophy features 16 companies taking part in the one of the BCCI's newly revived events, in the memory of their former president Dungarpur. This year's tournament will be played between top employers in India in four cities - Pune, Nagpur, Indore and Raipur - from February 1 to 8. The Irani Cup will be held in Mumbai from February 6 to 10.

*05.50GMT, January 13: This story was updated with news from other squads on the leaflet

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dhanno on January 30, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    How do we have Rahane, Tare, Sharma listed on some make-shift trophy ? This is pure arm twisting and lack of respect to one of the premier domestic FC tourny. Will this turn into showdown between big houses who sponsor (and rule) indian cricket and the local associations ? Mumbai association maybe able to hold onto its players but on news even Pujara is listed for this charminar trophy (!) , while he should be playing for ROI and nothing else. As someone else pointed, Saurastra made it to finals, but none of their players get to be on ROI squad, its slap on their faces to see Raina/ Vijay getting chance time and again to represent god knows every squad on face of earth.

  • Haleos on January 30, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    This is utter rubbish. Now Mr Cool does not need rest? Guess corporates pay more than what they will get for Irani.

  • aativas on January 30, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    No surprise once the Chennai connection is clear!

  • Raj12345 on January 30, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Dhoni has choice. No issue with that. But some fans misunderstood Srini is backing TN, this is best opportunity for them to know, srini is not for TN, he is for CSK and his team. Every TN fan has same view, that is only reason Badri & DK is not getting into team. Badri play for CSK, srini don't want to see more CSK players in Indian team since Dhoni, Raina, Ashwin & Jadeja already in team. DK can't get into Indian team to protect Dhoni & Vijay. In this case Dhoni is better batsman than DK, no need worry, but they are worrying. Vijay is from TN, soon Vijay will be in Indian team and he is from CSK & TN. So vijay is first choice and not DK even DK produced very good score in domestic last year. LOL too much going on after 13 tests defeats.

  • dummy4fb on January 30, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    Don't critisize these personal decisions he is having the right to take his choice. He is doing good as a batsman and captain. Let him do his job cool

  • balajit on January 30, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    Such an important tournament ! :-) LOL BCCI just continues to baffle people! Add tournaments left right center & what's more have players who need rest play in them.

    It only happens with BCCI. At least pujara could have played in Irani cup. Dont think this will make any difference to ashwin the way he is bowling. Dhoni certainly needs rest.

    Mr srinivasan ,Please remember India is more important than India cements.

  • SamRoy on January 30, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    Ashwin needs to work on his bowling. He needs time off. Yet, he is going to play in this stupid tournament. Not concerned about Dhoni and Pujara though as both are in good form.

  • shripadk on January 30, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    @Humdingers Respect? What is all this have to do with respect. Even I dont think Dhoni should be captaining Indian test squad, but nothing more than World Cup? Make that 2 world cups, No1 rating in ODI and Test during his stint as captain. He gets all the respect from me for doing that job.

    And FYI, world cup is currently the most prestigious trophy you can win in the sport of cricket. If that is "just" another thing for you, then you are watching wrong game my friend.

    I have nothing against players earning quick bucks or millions through IPL and things like this. They are getting paid because they are in demand. They are in demand because they are marketable people. They are marketable because people like them. People like them because they have done well in cricket ground bringing joy to billions of us. When that is the case, let them have their candy. Why should we need to label anyone a sellout?

  • Sathish_Kumar on January 30, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    For all Dhoni basher wouldn't you move to a differnent company if you are given a higher salary than your current company. if u are then u have no rights to crtisize him . he is not playing for differnet country for money right . this shows that if you hate a person u can only see bad things about him, not the good one he did..

  • bluefunk on January 30, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    Considering who owns India Cements, this isn't a surprise at all.

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