News of Uttar Pradesh playing a three-day practice game against the visiting West Indies team from October 31 to November 2 at Cuttack has come as a pleasant surprise for many in UP. “This will be for the first time ever that the Uttar Pradesh will be playing a match against an international team,” Rajeev Shukla secretary,Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) and BCCI’s tour,programme and fixture committee chairman told The Indian Express.
“ThisdecisionhasbeentakenplacebecauseUPhasbeendoingwellintheRanjiTrophyandtheBuchiBabutournament(UP is the winner of the Buchi Babu tourney). There are many talented players in the team and playing with the West Indies team is going to help the boys in a big way,” explained Shukla. UP team selector Gyanendra Pandey said,”Playing against West Indies will increase the confidence level of the youngsters,especiallythosewhohavenotplayedatheinternationallevel.” Pandey said. A good number of UP boys keep playing for the country, said former Ranji player Neeru Kapoor.
Meanwhile,sources in the UPCA informed that Green Park stadium,Kanpur has a good chance of playing host to the third ODI against West Indies to be played on November 27. Deputy Director Sports (UP) Brijendra Kumar Kuriel,who is posted at Kanpur,said,that UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is scheduled to inspect the stadium to see the preparations there during his visit to Kanpur on October 18.