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December 31, 2008
Mohammad Ashaduddin, son of former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin, has been selected for the trials camp of Kolkata Knight Riders on January 6-7 at the Eden Gardens.
"He will be part of the bunch of 30 or 40-odd talent pool that would be groomed for the future," Joy Bhattacharya, the IPL team's director, told Cricinfo.
Ashaduddin, 17, is yet to play representative cricket. "You don't need to play at the first-class level to play here [IPL] but he is part of our long-term objective where we want to develop talent just like the farm system in baseball," the Kolkata official said.
Ashaduddin, popularly known as Abbas, is a left-hand opener and plays for East Marredpally CC in the Hyderabad's A division league (two-day format). This year he has made four fifties in six innings.
R Sridhar, head coach at St John's Academy - incidentally the same club that VVS Laxman learned his basics - said Ashaduddin had put in a lot of effort especially in the last one year under the watchful eye of Azhar.
"Azhar has been coming regularly with Abbas and has worked keenly along with me, especially in the last three weeks," Sridhar said. "We even changed his batting grip recently which has proved to be effective as Abbas' team-mates say they feel assured when he walks in to bat."
This is the first time Ashaduddin has come into the spotlight, and his selection ahead of younger brother Aiyazuddin has come as a surprise. In fact, it was Aiyazuddin who made news earlier because his style of batting is uncannily similar to Azhar's.
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