CHANDIGARH: A new-look Chandigarh cricket team, comprising five new faces and a whole new set of support staff, including head coach Rajiv Nayyar, on Wednesday left for Gurugram to take part in the domestic season opener – the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament that kicks off on November 4.
Manan Vohra will continue to lead the team in the tournament to be played at Gurugram and Lahli (Rohtak). While the team misses some of the big names, the most surprising omission was of the in-form opener Arslan Khan.
Khan has been one of the leading run-scorers for the team across formats. In the previous season, Khan had accumulated 218 runs from five matches in the Vijay Hazare trophy at an average of 43.60, while in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament, he scored 56 runs in two matches at a fiery strike rate of 200.
In the under-23 category too, Arslan has been amongst the runs, belting 700 runs at an average of 70 from 11 matches, which included five centuries and a couple of half centuries. In the recent domestic tournament held by the UTCA, Arslan looked in great shape, and thus his exclusion from the squad is bound to raise a few eyebrows.
Ahead of the start of the season, the UT Cricket Association had promised a complete overhaul of the support staff, and had placed their faith in former Himachal Pradesh captain Nayyar. Rajeev, the son of Major SC Nayyar, who was the captain of the first HP Ranji team, has an impeccable track record as a player. He is the first batsman who scored a century for HP in Ranji Trophy. He is the first batsman of the state to score a century against Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Services and J&K and the first state bowler to get five wickets in a Ranji match.
Into their third season in domestic cricket, Chandigarh are placed in the Elite E group and are clubbed alongside Hyderabad, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Saurashtra.
Chandigarh will open their campaign against UP on November 4, before facing Delhi the next day. The city lads will then lock horns against Hyderabad on November 6 followed by the contest against Saurashtra on November 8. Manan’s boys will play their last league match against Uttarakhand on November 9.
Manan Vohra (Captain), Shivam Bhambri, Sarul Kanwar, Ankit Kaushik, Kunal Mahajan, Gaurav Puri, Gurinder Singh, Bhagmender Lather, Arpit Singh, Arjit Singh, Jaskarandeep Singh Buttar, Rahul Sharma, Jagjit Sandhu, Shresth Nirmohi, Parmesh Kumar, Yuvraj Chaudhary, Taranpreet Singh, Jaskaranveer Singh Sohi, Gaurav Gambhir, Amrit Lubana
Rajiv Nayyar (Coach), Sandeep Singh Arora (Assistant Coach), Girish Bhanot (Manager), Saurabh Khandelwal (Physio), Sagar Sudan (Trainer)Internet Explorer Channel Network