Kolkata: With pacer Ishant Sharma reportedly uncertain for the first Test against England following a viral infection, the Indian cricket board on Tuesday asked Ashok Dinda to join the squad, two days before the match begins in Ahmedabad.
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"I got an SOS that asked me to join the Indian team in Ahmedabad. I shall be with the team Wednesday morning," Dinda said.
The call came to the Bengal cricketer when he had just boarded a flight to Kolkata from Chandigarh after Bengal`s disastrous Ranji match against Punjab. Bengal went down by a humiliating innings and 27 runs.
There was, however, no official confirmation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India about Sharma`s availability. It was also hazy as to whether Dinda has been called in as Sharma`s replacement or cover.
Dinda`s coach Ataldeb Burman called it his best Diwali gift. "He called me up to give the good news. I am very happy."
"When he was repeatedly ignored I used to tell him not to lose heart. Given a chance, he will do well. I am confident. His line and length has vastly improved now. He has reaped rich dividends for his dedication," Burman said.