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November 15, 2008
Amit Bhandari, Delhi's veteran medium-pacer, has been dropped for their Group A Super League match against Mumbai, which begins on Sunday. Bhandari was not included in the XI for Delhi's previous match against Hyderabad where they conceded the first-innings lead. Bhandari's replacement in the squad will be Sumit Narwal.
Bhandari, 30, has been pushed by the new crop of bowlers, for the last two seasons. A comeback for Ashish Nehra this season meant there was one less place in the side. Bhandari did play the season opener for Delhi, and took two 2 for 86 and 1 for 19 against Punjab.
Bhandari expressed displeasure over being dropped for the match against Hyderabad, and asked the selectors not to pick him if he was not going to play in the XI. "I can't just sit in the dressing room if they think I am a liability," he told the Hindu. "I am not unfit, I have been taking wickets to justify my place and I am as committed as the rest. Being the senior-most I did not deserve this humiliation.
"I have been serving Delhi cricket as loyally as any one else and I deserved a better treatment from colleagues who I have known for more than a decade. None deemed it fit to communicate the decision to me that I was being dropped from the XI in the match against Hyderabad. Suddenly I felt unwanted."
However Chetan Chauhan, the chairman of the selection committee, said they didn't show any disrespect in dropping Bhandari. "It is horses for courses and we will call him when we need him," Chauhan said. "It is not the end of the journey for him. We didn't want to pick him and then keep him in the reserves."
Squad: Aakash Chopra (capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, Mithun Manhas, Rajat Bhatia, Puneet Bisht (wk), Chetanya Nanda, Pradeep Sangwan, Ashish Nehra, Parvinder Awana, Aditya Jain, Sumit Narwal, Yogesh Nagar, Gaurav Chhabra, Mayank Tehlan and Narinder Singh.
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