The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday announced the squad for the upcoming four-day series between India A and New Zealand A. Among the players who have been handed an opportunity to feature in India colours is Bengal pacer Mukesh Kumar. The 28-year-old has received his maiden India ‘A’ call-up courtesy of his performances in the 2021-22 Ranji Trophy season.
Mukesh’s rise to the top has not been easy as the cricketer recently revealed that at one point in his career he had nothing to eat due to financial problems at home. Mukesh stated that the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, who was the head of Bengal Cricket Association from 2015 to 2019, arranged for his stay at the Eden Gardens Stadium and also took care of his diet.
“I was youngest of the six but we had severe financial problems. It was Rano (Ranadeep Bose, bowling coach), who spoke to then CAB secretary Sourav Ganguly, who arranged for my stay at Eden Gardens and my diet was taken care of,” Mukesh revealed in an interview with PTI.
Mukesh made his first-class debut for Bengal in 2015 and has since played a total of 27 matches for the side. Mukesh has picked 100 wickets in 27 matches at an average of 22.57. He has also played 18 List-A matches and T20 games for Bengal, picking 17 and 19 wickets, respectively.
Apart from Mukesh, Yash Dayal, Umran Malik, Arzan Nagwaswalla, Kuldeep Yadav, Saurabh Kumar, Rahul Chahar, and Prasidh Krishna have also been handed the opportunity to play in the three four-day games against New Zealand A side. The squad also features Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rajat Patidar, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Tilak Varma, Sarfaraaz Khan, and KS Bharat. Priyank Panchal will lead the side in the four-day series.
India A squad for four-day matches: Priyank Panchal (Captain), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraaz Khan, Tilak Varma, KS Bharat (wk), Upendra Yadav (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Saurabh Kumar, Rahul Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Umran Malik, Mukesh Kumar, Yash Dayal, Arzan Nagwaswalla.
The first four-day match of the series will be played at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru from September 1 to September 4. The second game will be held at the KSCA Stadium in Hubli from September 8 to September 11. The action for the third four-day game will again shift to M. Chinnaswamy Stadium from September 15 to September 18.
In terms of the one-day series, all the matches will be played at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The first match will be held on September 22, followed by the second and third games on September 25 and September 27, respectively.
'Had severe financial problems; Ganguly arranged for my stay and diet': India 'A' bowler – Republic World