Vidarbha wicketkeeper Akshay Wadkar has been drafted into the India Red squad as a replacement for banned Abhishek Gupta in the forthcoming Duleep Trophy competition, scheduled to start from August 17.
It is pertinent to mention that Gupta is currently serving an eight-month suspension for doping violation that will end in September. Taking this factor into account, the BCCI made the late change for the Abhinav Mukund-led India Red side.
"It was brought to notice by the BCCI anti-doping team that Abhishek Gupta who was initially added in the India Red squad is serving an 8-month ban for a doping violation," a BCCI statement read.
"His ban is set to end on the September 14. The senior selection committee has reached a consensus that Akshay Wadkar will be included in the India Red team as Gupta's replacement," it further added.
The BCCI charged Gupta with committing an Anti-Doping Rule Violation on January 17 and provisionally suspended him. Gupta admitted to the violation, but said he took the substance inadvertently, as part of medication prescribed by his doctor to treat an upper-respiratory-tract infection, and not as a performance-enhancing drug.
The BCCI was pleased with Gupta's explanation, and after considering all the evidence and taking expert external advice, has decided to suspend him for eight months, back-dating the start of the suspension to January 15, 2018. His suspension will end on September 14 while Duleep Trophy is slated to take place from August 17 to September 8. Gupta has featured in six first-class matches, six List A games and nine T20Is thus far.
The teams for the Duleep Trophy were disclosed on Monday (July 23) in Kolkata by the selection committee.
Duleep Trophy squads for 2018-19:
Faiz Fazal (Captain), Abhishek Raman, Anmolpreet Singh, Ganesh Satish, N. Gangta, Dhruv Shorey, K.S. Bharat (WK), Akshay Wakhare, Saurav Kumar, Swapnil Singh, Basil Thampi, B Ayappa, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni
Abhinav Mukund (Captain), R.R. Sanjay, Ashutosh Singh, Baba Aparajith, Writtick Chatterjee, B. Sandeep, Akshay Wadkar, S Nadeem, Mihir Hirwani, Parvez Rasool, R Gurbani, A Mithun, Ishan Porel, Y. Prithvi Raj
Parthiv Patel (Captain & WK), Prashant Chopra, Priyank Panchal, Sudeep Chatterjee, Gurkeerat Mann, Baba Indrajit, V.P. Solanki, Jajal Saxena, Karn Sharma, Vikas Mishra, K. Vignesh, Ankit Rajpoot, Ashok Dinda, Atith Sheth