For hardcore cricket aficionados, it's the next best thing to, er, the real thing, and it's happening in town. He may not entirely like it, but V V S Laxman is going to be the star attraction here, and we like it!
With the 4-day elite and plate divisions of the Ranji season coming to a close, it's time for some one-day cricket. The South Zone Ranji Trophy One-Day Tournament for the K S Subbaiah Pillai Trophy gets underway this Saturday at various venues of the city. Six Southern teams of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa are set to clash each other in this prestigious championship.
This year, in order to make young players acquainted with the international playing conditions and procedures, the concept of colored clothing for players, white Kookaburra balls and black sightscreens have been introduced. All the matches will be played in the league format, with each team playing the other 5 teams once. The matches will be of 50 overs for each side, and the final winner will be decided on the basis of number of wins, points, and net aggregate.
Hyderabad will be captained by V V S Laxman and opens its campaign against Goa on 10th February, followed by matches with Tamil Nadu on 11th, Andhra on 13th, Kerala on the 14th and finally Karnataka on the 16th. With the inclusion of A T Rayudu into the final 15 players, Hyderabad look strong, with other players like Anirudh Singh, Ibrahim Khaleel, Arjun Yadav, Alfred Absolom, M P Arjun, Kaushik Reddy and Pragyan Ojha in the squad. Their performance in the 4-day edition was good and key players have been in form. They may face stiff competition from the other heavy-weights of the group, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The detailed schedule of the matches is as under:
Hyderabad vs Goa at Rajiv Gandhi Intl. Stadium, Uppal
Andhra vs Tamil Nadu at Gymkhana Grounds
Karnataka vs Kerala at RRC grounds, Behind Rail Nilayam
Hyderabad vs Tamil Nadu at Rajiv Gandhi Intl. Stadium, Uppal
Goa vs Karnataka at RRC grounds, Behind Rail Nilayam
Andhra vs Kerala at Gymkhana Grounds
Hyderabad vs Andhra at Rajiv Gandhi Intl. Stadium, Uppal
Goa vs Kerala at RRC grounds, Behind Rail Nilayam
Tamil Nadu vs Karnataka at Gymkhana Grounds
Hyderabad vs Kerala at Rajiv Gandhi Intl. Stadium, Uppal
Goa vs Tamil Nadu at RRC grounds, Behind Rail Nilayam
Andhra vs Karnataka at Gymkhana Grounds
Hyderabad vs Karnataka at Rajiv Gandhi Intl. Stadium, Uppal
Andhra vs Goa at Gymkhana Grounds
Kerala vs Tamil Nadu at RRC grounds, Behind Rail Nilayam
All the matches start at 9:00am everyday. For further details, please contact the Hyderabad Cricket Association at 2790-5676.