NEW DELHI, Sept 4: A little-known Delhi player�s inclusion in Ranji debutant Arunachal Pradesh�s list of guest players has come under the scanner with the team struggling to explain why he was picked over more accomplished domestic cricketers.
The Arunachal Cricket Association has included Khsitiz Sharma in their list replacing one of the original three players for their debut domestic season.
In fact, Khsitiz was also picked by Chennai Super Kings at the lowest base price of Rs 20 lakh despite failing miserably in the couple of Vijay Hazare Trophy (National One Dayers) matches. Khsitiz didn�t get any game for CSK in the IPL.
His record in senior representative cricket stands at six runs from two List A games and 111 runs from 11 T20 games at an average of 13.87 and a strike-rate of less than 100.
Originally, the Arunachal Cricket Association (ACA) had registered the names of Samarth Seth, Aprameya Vinay Jaiswal and Utsav Pankaj Madan for the upcoming season.
All the three are junior players, who can also play for the U-23 side in the CK Nayudu Trophy as well as Ranji Trophy.
However, much to the surprise of the BCCI�s Cricket Operations team, Arunachal mailed a letter, in possession of PTI, on August 27 to seek a replacement.
The Cricket Operations team had then asked Arunachal CA to take approval from GM (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim for any late replacement.
�Yes, I have approved Khsitiz�s name as BCCI extended the inter-state transfer of guest players till September 15 only for the new states,� Karim told PTI today.
However, when Arunachal CA top boss Tado Kholi was contacted, he failed to come up with a convincing reply as to why a 28-year-old little known Delhi cricketer was named as replacement.
�Well, we thought of replacing one player as we thought that we needed someone with experience of having played Ranji Trophy,� Kholi told PTI.
When told that Khistij has not played any Ranji Trophy and only two 50-over matches, he said: �I didn�t know that. I haven�t seen any of the players till now. May be we can use him for U-23 matches also.�
He was then told that Khsitiz is 28, to which the response was: �We will follow a transparent process in our selection matters. If Khsitiz Sharma fails to perform, we will replace him.�
However, Kholi denied being under any pressure to include Khsitiz in the Ranji Trophy side.
�Look at Bihar, they have Pragyan Ojha with 100 plus Test wickets. Meghalaya has Puneet Bisht who has played 77 first-class games for Delhi, J&K and North Zone. Puducherry has domestic legends like Abhishek Nayar and Pankaj Singh in their teams. So if people are raising questions about Khsitiz Sharma, it is justified,� a senior BCCI official said.
CoA chief Vinod Rai has already said that BCCI�s Anti Corruption Unit has been told to keep a track of the inter-state transfer of NE states. � PTI