Sehwag opts out of Hong Kong Sixes, to play Challenger Trophy


New Delhi : Virender Sehwag, fighting to regain his place in the national side, has withdrawn from the Hong Kong Sixes cricket tournament following a call to skipper the India Blue Team in the Challenger Trophy tournament in Ahmedabad this week.

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The former India opener, who lost his place in the national team following India’s inglorious exit from the World Cup, was also out of the side during the seven match one-day international series against Australia. Sehwag, who was part of the title winning team at the inaugural Twenty20 World Championships, however, did find a place in the side for the one-off Twenty20 match against Australia Saturday.

With performances in the Challenger Trophy being one of the criteria for selection of the Indian side for the upcoming series against Pakistan, Sehwag, who became father last week, gets a second chance as he was named to lead the India Blue team.

Earlier in the month, Sehwag had been named into the All Star side for the Hong Kong Sixes tournament Oct 27-28 in the company of the likes of Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Shahid Afridi, Heath Streak and fellow Indian, Anil Kumble. The organisers of the HK Sixes tournament have since added the names of the recently retired New Zealand all-rounder Craig McMillan and McGrath to the side, which will be led by Warne.

There is also some doubt about the participation of Shahid Afridi, as he is likely to be named into the side playing the one-day series against South Africa in the same period.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has named Naved Latif as the skipper for its team to play in HK Sixes. Latif has played one Test and 11 ODIs. Other members in the side include Yasir Arafat, a member of the Pakistan team at Twenty20 World Cup. Mansoor Amjad, the legspinner, and promising 21-year-old batsman Shahid Yousuf are also in the side with the other members being Sarfraz Ahmed, Rizwan Ahmed and Abdur Rauf.

Bangladesh has named Mohammad Ashraful as the captain for the tournament with other members being Aftab Ahmed, Abdur Razzak, Dollar Mahmud, Mahmudullah Riyad, Nazmul Hossain Milon and Zunaed Siddique.

This year’s event will feature eight leading cricketing nations, including defending champions South Africa, Australia, New Zealand Kiwis, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and England, plus hosts Hong Kong and, for the first time, an All-Star Team comprising some of the game’s biggest names.