With much-awaited ICC World Test Championship commencing from July 2019, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has set focus on its specialists, too. According to the latest development, as many as seven cricketers could partake in the coveted County cricket competition. Well, the Men in Blue will feature in the 2019 World Cup, before taking on the Windies.

The maiden edition of the championship will feature nine Test playing nations out of total twelve.

“With India set to play against the Caribbean in about fortnight after the end of the World Cup. The BCCI has prepared a proposal wherein their Test specialists can play some red ball cricket in months of June till mid-July,” the senior official for BCCI told PTI.

With distinct teams set to prepare for the mega event, the specialist are supposed to play a couple of games for different English county teams in a bid to prepare for the Test Championship.

BCCI wants a maximum of four first-class games for the chosen players ahead of the Windies series.

“The conditions are completely different save that they will be playing with red Dukes which will also be used in the West Indies. It’s just that they will get game time. We are hopeful that all our seven Test players will be playing either Division 1 or 2 of the English county,” official remarked.

Cheteshwar Pujara, ICC Test Championship, India
Pujara represents Yorkshire in the County set-up. Photo Credit: AFP.

The world’s richest board has started off giving attention to its prominent and fresh faces. Particularly, the players include Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Hanuma Vihar, Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal.

It’s pertinent to mention Team India skipper was bound to play for Surrey but at the last moment, he had suffered a neck injury while representing Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), last year.

The Test specialist Pujara had already bagged a three-year contract from Yorkshire since 2017.

On the other side, Virat Kohli’s Test deputy Rahane’s chances are to feature for Hampshire.

“Pujara’s contract was a deal between him and the county and it’s a long term deal,”  a senior official stated.

Ajinkya Rahane, India, ICC World Test Championship, Windies
Rahane likely to play for Hampshire. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The reports suggested Rahane is waiting for the consent from the members of the Committee of Administrators (CoA).

However, according to the BCCI official, the chief of the CoA Vinod Rai has given approval from his side.

“CoA head Vinod Rai has already given his approval. But Diana Edulji and Lt General Ravi Thodge are yet to give their approvals,” the official added.

Apart from the giants of the English County teams, BCCI has set the target on Nottinghamshire, Essex and Leicestershire respectively.

The official reiterated that BCCI had a discussion with the top-brasses of distinct county teams.

“During the last Test series in England, the BCCI has had discussions with the CEOs of all major counties so that our top Test players can play there in summers,” the official further added.

Concurrently, the players are partaking in the ongoing twelfth edition of the IPL 2019.

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