Ranji Trophy: Mumbai Await NCA Clearance for Shardul Thakur

Shardul Thakur (PTI Image)

Shardul Thakur (PTI Image)

Shardul Thakur will feature for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy only when he gets a Return to Play (RTP) clearance from the National Cricket Academy.

India all-rounder Shardul Thakur is likely to play for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy from the sixth round. The 32-year-old will be missing the domestic giant’s next fixture against Bengal from February 2. Mumbai chief selector Raju Kulkarni informs that Thakur had some issue with his ankle and was advised to rest for two weeks by the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

“Shardul Thakur had some issue in his ankle and he was advised two-week rest by the National Cricket Academy. He was in Bengaluru for further assessment and future course of action and is likely to be available for selection soon,” says Kulkarni.

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As a routine procedure, NCA needs to give a Return to Play (RTP) clearance to allow a player to participate in competitive cricket again. The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is yet to receive that for Thakur and is hopeful of receiving it before the sixth round of India’s premier domestic competition.

“We are still waiting for NCA’s Return to Play (RTP) report on Shardul Thakur. We need to follow the procedure and the moment the report comes, we will have clearance to pick him up for the Ranji Trophy. For now, we have made the necessary provisions and will pick him up only when the report comes from the NCA. We are hopeful to get the RTP before our sixth round game,” adds Kulkarni.

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Thakur last played for India in the Boxing Day Test vs South Africa where he had average outings with both bat and ball. With the bat, he could manage scores of 24 and 2 and leaked 101 runs in 19 overs with the ball.

As far as Mumbai are concerned, they won their first three Ranji Trophy fixtures but lost their recent home game against Uttar Pradesh. The hosts did put up a strong fight on the final day but just didn’t have enough runs to play with. The Ajinkya Rahane-led unit is leading Group B with 20 points from four games.

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