Yuvraj trains with probable Punjab but awaits BCCI clearance


Last year Yuvraj announced his retirement from all formats. © Getty

For the past few days, Yuvraj Singh has been sweating with his Punjab teammates at the IS Bindra Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. Yuvraj is motivated to make a comeback in the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. He spent a full 45 minutes in the nets, and when the ball hit the weak spot in his club, it was evident that the charismatic southpaw hadn’t lost a shred of his magic touch. About 30 Punjab cricketers split into two groups had participated in a 10-day preparatory camp prior to a T20 tournament on December 18 in Ludhiana.

However, uncertainty prevails over his return. Yuvraj has yet to receive approval from Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chairman Sourav Ganguly. The secretary of the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Puneet Bali, who had asked Yuvraj to leave the pension, told TOI: “We are still waiting for the response from the BCCI.”

Yuvraj retired from international and domestic cricket, including the Indian Premier League (IPL), in June 2019, authorizing himself to play foreign leagues around the world. He played for the Toronto Nationals in the Global T20 Canada held in August last year and for the Maratha Arabians in the Abu Dhabi T10 last November.

The BCCI rule states that cricketers active on the national circuit cannot participate in overseas T20 championships. So, it will be interesting to see if the flaming hitter gets a green signal from the scoreboard or not.

In addition to Yuvraj, the Punjab recruiters also named pacer Barinder Sran on their list of 30 likely men ahead of Syed Mushtaq Ali’s tournament. The 28-year-old, who has played six ODI and two T20Is for India, criticized Punjab selectors earlier before moving to Chandigarh last year.

The change did not work well for Sran as he only managed to get five wickets in as many List-A games, two wickets in four T20 games and failed to take any wickets in the solo Ranji Trophy match he played against Arunachal Pradesh. He was later knocked out by the Chandigarh selectors, stating his poor form and is now back playing for Punjab.

Sreesanth named among the likely Kerala

Sreesanth is finally ready to return to active cricket after completing his ban, as the fast thrower was included in the 26-man odds roster for Kerala’s senior state team ahead of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The T20 tournament will start on January 10th.

Sreesanth has been able to play since September 13 this year, but with the start of the national season delayed due to the pandemic, the pacer was forced to wait to make his return. 37-year-old Sreesanth and the rest of the players, including the likes of Sanju Samson, Sachin Baby and Jalaj Saxena, will take part in a preparatory camp at the SD College Ground in Alappuzha from December 20-30.