Suresh Raina and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (UP), Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane (Mumbai), Stuart Binny (Karnataka) and Mohammed Shami (Bengal) have been asked not to participate in the first knockout round of the domestic tournament that begins on January 8. All six of them would take the flight to New Zealand along with the rest of the squad on January 12.
Prasad, who will be missing out on the services of two of his key players, said: “You want the best players in the tournament to compete. It also helps the youngsters in the squad who can only learn from the international players. They could have departed a day later. In any case they are playing their first match on January 19.”
The UP coach seemed to have a valid point for Bhuvneshwar in particular, when he added: “Just imagine Bhuvneshwar going to New Zealand with confidence and rhythm having played this match. He has not played since the first ODI in South Africa. If he had played Karnataka, it would only help his match fitness.”
Explaining the rationale behind not letting the players participate in the domestic match, a senior BCCI representative, speaking to ESPNcricinfo, said: “They have just come back from South Africa. Also, they leave shortly for what will be the start of a hectic year. So this is the time where they need to relax and recuperate.”
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