Shahrukh Khan, R Sai Kishore

Picture Credit: Twitter

The third wave of COVID-19 has once again forced teams to select big squads and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also doesn't want to take a chance. The Indian Cricket Board has decided to add two backups to the 18-member squad for the white-ball series against West Indies. The Tamil Nadu duo of M Shahrukh Khan and R Sai Kishore has been added to the squad considering the current situation in the country.

According to a media report, the BCCI doesn't want to take a chance with the third wave of COVID-19 still wreaking havoc. "The BCCI wants to have all its bases covered. With the third wave still persisting, the Board cannot take a chance, and Shahrukh and Sai Kishore have been added to the squad. Sai Kishore will be a good handy bowler at the nets too," a BCCI source told TOI.

Washington Sundar, who also plays for Tamil Nadu, has also been included in the squad. With three of the players on national duty, Tamil Nadu will now be looking for their replacements for the highly anticipated Ranji Trophy.

"Once the West Indies series would have ended, Washington would have been available. So, the management was okay to play the first couple of matches with 19 players. Now the team composition might change with both Shahrukh and Sai missing. A final decision will be taken in the next two days," the source said.

Ranji Trophy league phase from 12 and 13 February

After so many speculations and brainstorming, the BCCI finally gave its verdict on the conduct of the Ranji Trophy. The Indian cricket board has decided to hold the tournament in two phases- pre-IPL and post IPL. The league phase of the primary first-class tournament will be held before the Indian Premier League commences while the knockout phase will kick off after the IPL is concluded.

Since the tournament is slated to start from February 12 or 13, Tamil Nadu will begin its camp a week before i.e. around February 6. "The squad will probably travel to the destined venue on Feb 6 and quarantine for the next three days before starting their practice. The TNCA will keep the players in a bio-bubble till then," the source said.