Indian Test specialists Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Wriddhiman Saha, and Umesh Yadav are all set to be part of their respective domestic teams for the Ranji Trophy semi-finals from December 17-21 in a bid to keep ready themselves for India’s upcoming South Africa tour for a full series.
The two semifinals of the Ranji Trophy will be played from December 17, between Karnataka and Vidarbha at Kolkata, and Delhi vs Bengal at Pune, while the winner of the semifinals will take on each other at the Holkar Stadium in Indore from December 29 to clinch the title of the Ranji Trophy 2017-18.
A senior BCCI official confirmed to PTI, “Shami and Wriddhiman Saha will turn up for Bengal while Ishant Sharma might turn up for Delhi. Umesh Yadav will get to play for Vidarbha against Karnataka which will have KL Rahul in their ranks. Since there aren’t any practice games in South Africa, it is only fair that they play Ranji Trophy.”
Meanwhile, CAB joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya also confirmed the news and said it has been a good move by BCCI to allow the top stars take part in a marquee match. Dalmiya added, “Yes, Shami and Wriddhi will be playing for Bengal. Ranji Trophy is the premier tournament and at a stage like semi-final, it will be a boost for the Bengal team to get two of its senior most players.”
However, a senior DDCA official said that there is still no clarity whether Ishant will be available for the semifinal against Bengal or not.