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Indian Indoor Cricket Team for World Cup named

Girish set to lead India at the showpiece event; Five players from the previous edition retained.


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Full squad

19 August 2017, Dubai: The Indian Indoor cricket team for the upcoming 10th edition of the World Indoor Cricket Federation (WICF) World Cup was announced on Saturday.

The tournament is scheduled to be held from 16-23 September 2017. The week-long tournament, will be staged in partnership with Cricket Australia (CA) and Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), at the Insportz Club in Dubai.

The Indian team is managed and operated by the XLR8 India, an indoor arena in Bengaluru. The India Indoor Sports Federation, has mandated XLR8 to select, train and prepare Indian cricket teams for all indoor tournaments.

For the 2017 edition of the showpiece event in indoor cricket, XLR8 has appointed UAE-based Petromann Events to manage, operate and market the Indian team. Petromann Events, brainchild of Mr Abdul Latif Khan, also known as Arif Khan in the sporting arena.

The Indian squad was selected by head coach Taher Ali Khan in consultation with chairman of Petromann Events, Abdul Latif Khan.

The squad, led by Girish Kyatanahalli Gopal, has excellent balance of young and experienced players. The prime focus being placed on agility and aggression.

Squad (from): Girish Kyatanahalli Gopal (captain), Dhanush Bhaskar (vice-captain), Mohammed Khizer Ahmed, Yathish Channappa, Aries Kather Aziz, Sandeep Mayanna, Nihal Fakruddin Shilar, Daivik Rai, Vijay Hanumantharayappa, Suraj Reddy Byrathi Naga Reddy, Santhosh Anand, Faiyaz Arai.

From the squad that represented India at the last World Cup in New Zealand, five players- Dhanush Bhaskar, Yathish Channappa, Nihal Fakruddin Shilar, Vijay Hanumantharayappa, Daivik Rai-have been retained.

The captain Girish Kyatanahalli Gopal comes in with around eight years of experience having played indoor cricket around the world. His elevation to the role of captain is precisely because of his aggressive mindset, which the selectors are hoping will rub off on the rest of the squad. Apart from his international experience, Girish Kyatanahalli Gopal along with Mohammed Khizer Ahmed also has rich local experience having featured in Dubai's Premier Indoor Cricket Leagues for a period of six months in 2016.

In addition the other experienced players in the squad are Sandeep Mayanna, Aries Kather Aziz and Santhosh Anand.

Speaking on the team selection, coach Taher Ali Khan said: “We have taken care to select a squad that is well-balanced. I have lot of expectations from the core group of senior players who can guide the younger boys very well. While the captain Girish is aggressive in nature, the likes of Daivik, Suraj and Khizer also add a dash of agility and youthfulness on the field.”

Abdul Latif Khan, chairman, Petromann Events said: “We could not have asked for anything better in terms of build-up for the World Cup. I think we have a really well balanced squad which can do wonders for India at the tournament. I am sure the collective experience of the squad will come in really handy in pressure situations.”

The Indian squad is being mentored by noted Dubai-based Indian businessman Anis Sajan, while former India batsman and ex-chief selector Sandeep Patil is the brand ambassador of the squa.

The 10th edition of the Indoor Cricket World Cup will attract approximately 400 players and officials from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and the host UAE, apart from India. Established in 1997, Insportz Club is the Middle East’s first indoor sports facility with fully air-conditioned multipurpose courts.

The 10th edition of the WICF World Cup will also involve players competing in the Open Men’s, Open Women’s, 21 & Under Men’s, and 21 & Under Women’s divisions, with Australia the reigning World Champions in each of the four divisions.

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