Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has requested Sachin Tendulkar to play the final Group ‘A’ Ranji Trophy tie against Gujarat from December 29 to January 1. Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium will host the game. However, the maestro is yet to confirm his availability for the crunch tie. “The MCA has approached Sachin, and he sent me an SMS saying he will let me know of his decision one of these days,” a top MCA official told this paper on Friday.
Mumbai have garnered only 14 points from six league matches this season. The worrisome fact is that the 39-time champions have yet to register an ‘outright’ victory. What’s more, they are placed sixth on the table behind Punjab (32 points), Madhya Pradesh (20), Saurashtra (15), Gujarat (15) and Railways (14).
The next round of Ranji matches starts on Saturday and Ajit Agarkar & Co are up against Madhya Pradesh (in Indore). Mumbai need at least one ‘outright’ win — that’ll fetch them six or seven points as against a drawn game which earns you only three or one depending on the first-innings lead — in order to harbour hopes of qualifying for the knockouts.
For the record, Tendulkar played the season’s opening match — against Railways at the Wankhede — and scored a strokeful 137 (136 balls, 21x4, 3x6). That match (November 2-5) was played barely 10 days before the first India-England Test at Ahmedabad.