Suresh Raina, star attraction at Buchi Babu tournamentRaina will also captain India Blue in the Duleep Trophy, he is expected to turn out for Uttar Pradesh in the first phase of the historical cricket tournament.
Twelve teams, including three from Tamil Nadu, will vie for honours in the Kalpathi-AGS All-India Buchi Babu cricket tournament beginning in Chennai on Saturday at various venues. Suresh Raina, who has been out of the India ODI team for a while now, will be one of the star attractions of the tourney, along with Mohit Sharma, who too has been discarded from the limited overs side.
While Raina, who has been selected to captain India Blue in the Duleep Trophy, is expected to turn out for Uttar Pradesh in the first phase.
"Here I am, back to my very own #Chennai. Looking forward to playing the Buchi Babu series on the grounds full of memories and joyful moments," Raina wrote on his Twitter feed.
Mumbai, Hyderabad, Uttar Pradesh, Saurashtra, Baroda, Haryana, Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Assam will feature in the tournament alongside three local outfits - Tamil Nadu Cricket Association President's XI, TNCA City XI and TNCA Districts XI.
The tournament serves as a practice for state teams ahead of the Ranji Trophy season, that is scheduled to begin in October.
Most of the teams would be fielding youngsters in a bid to provide them match practice.
TNCA officials told reporters here yesterday that the matches would be played over two days with 90 overs per innings. If rain hampered the first day's play, the contest would turn into a 50-overs-a-side affair on the second day.
The semifinals would be played on September 11 and 12 at SSN College and MRF-Pachaiyappa's grounds. The final would be played at IC-Guru Nanak College ground on September 14 and 15.
The groups - A: TNCA President's XI, Kerala, Assam. "B": TNCA Districts XI, Haryana, Saurashtra. "C": TNCA City XI, Baroda, Hyderabad. "D": Mumbai, UPCA, Chhattisgarh.
The winning team would receive Rs one lakh and the runner-up Rs 50,000.