Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mumbai Indians to Field 5 Foreign Players in Champions League Twenty20 2011; No Tendulkar!

Mumbai Indians With injuries to Sachin Tendulkar amongst other Indian cricketers, the Mumbai Indians will be allowed to field five foreign players
 
 Even as the new IPL President, Rajiv Shukla, has said that the four foreign players in the IPL rule will stay, exception is being made for the Mumbai Indians who will be allowed to play as many as five foreign players in their team in the Champions League Twenty20 2011.


Sachin Tendulkar, the Mumbai Indians captain, himself is benched with a toe injury and while fans would have hoped that he will return sooner, that appears may not be the case after all. No Dhawal Kulkarni or Ali Murtaza, originally named in the Mumbai Indians squad as part of the Champions League Twenty20 2011 squads, had also compounded matters. Injuries to Indian cricketers have done the Mumbai Indians no favour in that even Munaf Patel was injured in the last India England ODI and will also not being taking his place in the team.

Given the spate of injuries and absence of several Indian cricketers, it appears that the organizers have relaxed the rules for the IPL team and have gone ahead and allowed them to field five foreign players, something that has been asked for by some of the IPL teams and coaches in a bid to improve their overall competitiveness. However, with the IPL being primarily targeting at giving more domestic Indian cricketers while balancing the attraction act with the foreign cricketers, after four years of the IPL, it would appear that the four foreign players rule will stay.
The Mumbai Indians will be grateful that Harbhajan Singh, who also pulled away midway from India’s tour of England with an abdominal injury, is supposedly fit by his own reckoning and raring to get back to cricket.

Mumbai Indians squad for the Champions League Twenty20 2011 before

and

Mumbai Indians squad for the Champions League Twenty20 2011 now:
Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga , Andrew Symonds , James Franklin , Aiden Blizzard , Davy Jacobs , Kieron Pollard , Dilhara Fernado , R Satish, Ambati Rayudu, T Suman, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sarul Kanwar, Abu Nechim
In the revised squad, the Mumbai Indians do have their pick of foreign cricketers from fast bowler Lasith Malinga from Sri Lanka to Kieron Pollard who opted to play for the Mumbai Indians against the Trinidad and Tobago team which he competed with in the earlier edition of the Champions League Twenty20. It was that exposure that elevated Pollard to the exalted position of a much sought after specialist Twenty20 cricketer. Aiden Blizzard of Australia and Davy Jacobs of South Africa may well open the batting in Sachin Tendulkar’s absence while Andrew Symonds, having played the IPL and an experienced member, will be expected to bolster the team. Dilhara Fernando and James Franklin also provide team options although the Mumbai Indians will clearly miss a stronger Indian connection. Fortunately they will still have representation in the form of the trio of Tirumalasetti Suman, R. Sathish and Ambati Rayudu.

With the Mumbai Indians having the opportunity to field five foreign players, it not only gives some of the IPL franchisees to have a look at how that formula works but also, for a few to register their complaint over why perhaps the rule should not be equally relaxed along all four IPL teams including the Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers and Kolkata Knight Riders who are all competing in the Champions League Twenty20 2011. Unfair advantage, some would say. The Mumbai Indians would say, compulsion.

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