Cricket

Rayudu likely to play for Vidarbha next Ranji season

30 years old Indian middle order batsman Ambati Rayudu is likely to play for Vidarbha in the coming Ranji Trophy season. It is known that Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) officials have been in touch with the right-hander for the last two-three months.

“Yes. We are in talks with Rayudu but nothing has been penned down. He will be a good edition to Vidarbha if it materializes. We will announce soon once the contract is signed,” a top VCA official said.

After accepting BCCI’s amnesty offer to all those associated with the ICL, Rayudu made a comeback to the domestic circuit, and has been part of the Baroda team for the last six seasons. He made a move to Baroda after Hyderabad had been relegated to the plate division of the Ranji Trophy. Strong performances for Baroda and for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL earned him his maiden international call-up in 2012. In 94 first-class matches, Rayudu has compiled 5873 runs at an average of almost 45, including 15 centuries.

“Rayudu’s name was discussed during Cricket Development meeting and we had given this responsibility to Paras (Mhambre), who is also in Mumbai Indians coaching staff. Paras has been in touch with Rayudu since last two-three months. However, he was busy with his national commitments and Indian Premier League. He is yet to get No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Baroda Cricket Association,” the official said.

Vidarbha already have Wasim Jaffer, the former India opener, and Karnataka batsman Ganesh Satish. Vidarbha renewed the contract of Satish, which expired at the end of the last season. Jaffer’s two-year contract will expire at the end of next season. VCA have decided not to renew the contract of Tamil Nadu Subramaniam Badrinath, under whom Vidarbha played quarter-finals of Ranji Trophy in the last two seasons.

Ambati Rayudu crossed the 1000-run mark in ODIs against Zimbabwe. He played 32 matches so far. Rayudu scored 1014 runs with 124 being his highest at an average of 48.28. Rayudu has so far scored two centuries and six half-centuries. His centuries came against Sri Lanka in 2014 and Zimbabwe in 2015.

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