England’s Monty Panesar to play in the Ranji Trophy for Puducherry?

Former England spinner Monty Panesar says he ‘may try and play Ranji Trophy this year’ in a bid to sustain his cricket career and sees Puducherry as an option because he thinks the ‘team allows overseas players to play’.

Panesar, who last played for England in 2013 is currently without a County side – since 2016 – and had recently revealed about his fight to overcome depression and drinking to excess in an autobiography named ‘The Full Monty’.

“I may try and play Ranji Trophy this year. I think there is one team — Puducherry — that allows overseas players to play,” Panesar said as quoted by The Telegraph.

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However, the report further added that Puducherry official are in the dark over news on Panesar being in talks for a Ranji stint. Puducherry have already filled their quota of ‘guest players’ with Karnataka’s Vinay Kumar, Tamil Naud’s KB Arun Karthick joining the team this season, along with Himachal’s Paras Dogra, who had played for Puducherry last season.

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However, as strange as it may sound, foreign players, rather overseas players, plying their trade in Indian domestic circuit is not a new thing. for 2006-07 season England internationals Vikram Solanki and Kabir Ali played for Rajasthan while Nayan Doshi, son of India spinner Dilip Doshi, played for Saurashtra way back in 2000-01 season.

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There was also talks of West Indian Jermaine Lawson and England’s Darren Gough turning out for Maharashtra in 2006-07 season.

In fact, in 2007 a BCCI technical committee, chaired by Sunil Gavaskar, has set new stipulations to state associations for fielding a foreign player. The player can only be selected if he has played a minimum of 10 Tests or 20 ODIs.