Jalaj Saxena is the latest big name from the Domestic circuit to join Kerela for the upcoming domestic season. Earlier, Mumbai players Iqbal Abdulla and Bhavin Thakkar joined Kerela after getting limited chances in the Mumbai team.
Madhya Pradesh all-rounder Saxena has played 84 first-class matches. The 29-year old has scored 4604 runs and took 195 wickets.
“We have got the NOC from Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association and Jalaj Saxena’s move is confirmed,” Kerala Cricket Association secretary TN Ananthanarayanan told The Times of India on Saturday .”We were a bit short on off-spin and Jalaj gives us options with the ball. Plus he’s a good opening batsman too,” he added.
One of the vital parts of Madhya Pradesh team ever since making his debut in 2005-06 season, Saxena has been performing consistently in the last four seasons. The all-rounder scored 2485 runs at an impressive average of 46.89 and took 111 wickets at 26.01. His fine display made him the recipient of the Lala Amaranth award for the best all-rounder during 2014-15. His bowling figures of 16 for 154 runs against Railway last season is the second-best match figures in Ranji history. He was signed by the Mumbai franchise for the sixth edition of the Indian T20 League in 2013 and re-signed the next year as well for the seventh edition for 90 lakhs.
With their line-up bolstered by these new arrivals, Kerela will go into the upcoming season with a lot of confidence. The Board of Control for Cricket in India recently announced the domestic schedule where Kerala are in Group C. They will open their season against Jammu and Kashmir at Kalyani, West Bengal from October 6 to 9. The board has decided to hold matches at neutral venues and so Kerala would not be playing any matches at home.
Kerala’s Ranji Trophy matches:
vs Jammu & Kashmir at Kalyani, Oct 6-9
vs Himachal Pradesh at Kolkata, Oct 13-16
vs Hyderabad at Bhubaneswar, Oct 20-23
vs Chattisgarh at Jamshedpur, Oct 27-30
vs Haryana at Jaipur, Nov 5-8
vs Goa at Mumbai, Nov 13-16
vs Andhra at Guwahati, Nov 21-24
vs Tripura at Barabati, Nov 29-Dec 2
vs Services at Delhi, Dec 7-10.