KL Rahul and Manish Pandey will be a part of the ongoing Karnataka Premier League (KPL) 2017 season, with the latter representing Belagavi Panthers and the former Bellary Tuskers. The news comes after some star players had to leave the ongoing KPL after they were selected for the Duleep Trophy.
Both, Rahul and Pandey, were instrumental in India’s dominating win in the tour of Sri Lanka. KL Rahul, who missed the IPL and the Champions Trophy due to an injury, started off just as he had finished in the Australia series scoring two back to back half centuries. In doing so, Rahul became the first batsman to score seven consecutive half centuries in Test matches for India. Manish Pandey, on the other hand, was brought into the limited overs team for the first time since October 2017, and he justified his selection with a half century in both formats.
However, with the team back in India, Pandey and Rahul are now available to participate in the KPL till September 17, when India will take on Australia in the limited-overs’ series. Pandey will be a part of the Belagavi Panthers setup while Rahul could turn up wearing Bellary Tuskers’
The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) would want the participation of the duo as the presence of national team players would help young cricketers from the state.
"We want more Karnataka players in the national and 'A' teams but when the two are available why should they not be playing in the KPL?" said a KSCA official told Pune Mirror.
Moreover, according to sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), the two Indian players have agreed to play in the Twenty20 tournament, which has lost a bit of its star power because of the ongoing Duleep Trophy for which players such as Karun Nair, R Samarth, and K Gowtham were called up.
Mayank Agarwal, too, has been chosen for the Board President's XI that is going take on Australia in Chennai on September 12, will have to miss the league as it will continue till September 23.