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ICC World Cup: Dhawal will be in the dressing room, says RN Baba

While India's media manager Dr RN Baba insists Mumbai pacer will watch Sunday's tie against Pakistan with teammates, ICC says he cannot

Ashwin FerroAdelaide: Mumbai pacer Dhawal Kulkarni’s case is turning out to be curious with each passing day as the World Cup nears. The International Cricket Council’s regulations clearly specify that they will not accredit more than 15 players. However, Kulkarni continues to be Player No 16, retained in case another injury occurs to the already wounded Indian pace attack.

Interestingly, while earlier reports suggest that Kulkarni will watch Sunday’s India vs Pakistan game from a BCCI box at the Adelaide Oval, the Indian team’s media manager Dr RN Baba yesterday told journalists on the sidelines of the team practice session at St Peter’s College’s Main Oval that Kulkarni will be along with the rest of his teammates during the February 15 encounter.

Dhawal Kulkarni
Dhawal Kulkarni

“During the match against Pakistan (at the Adelaide Oval), Dhawal will be in the team’s dressing room and will also be in the dug-out area. However, he will not be allowed to take water out on the ground during the match,” Baba said.

ICC's counter-punch
However, the ICC was straightforward in their counter-punch. “The ICC will only pick up the expenses of 15 players and eight officials. While teams can have as many players and officials beyond that as they want, on match day, only 15 players will be permitted in the team’s dressing room and in the dugout area. That’s the ICC’s rule. Unless there has been a sudden and recent change to it, which I’m not aware of, this will stand,” ICC’s head of media and communications, Sami Ul Hasan told mid-day yesterday. While retaining Kulkarni, even at the cost of Mumbai missing him in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Delhi in Cuttack on Febuary 16, may be a good idea given that Mohit Sharma was retained for Ishant Sharma and then recently roped into the team after Ishant proved to be unfit, it’s high time Kulkarni is not tossed around with a World Cup dream lingering.

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