Wadkar replaces dope-tainted Gupta after BCCI blunder

Akshay Wadkar
Akshay Wadkar scored a fine hundred for Vidarbha against Delhi in last season's Ranji Trophy final. File photo: IANS

New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has named Akshay Wadkar as the replacement for wicketkeeper-batsman Abhishek Gupta in the India Red squad for Duleep Trophy after realising its blunder of picking a player banned for a doping violation till September 14.

The selectors had picked Gupta in the Indian Red squad for Duleep Trophy, scheduled to take place from August 17 to September 8. According to a revised statement by the BCCI, selectors were not even aware of Gupta's suspension.

"It was brought to notice by the BCCI Anti-Doping team that Mr. Abhishek Gupta who was initially added in the India Red squad is serving an 8-month ban for a doping violation. The senior selection committee has reached a consensus that Mr. Akshay Wadkar will be included in the India Red team as Mr. Gupta's replacement," said the BCCI.

Wadkar is a wicketkeeper-batsman from Vidarbha, the reigning Ranji Trophy champions. He has played six first-class games besides nine List A appearances.

In June, Gupta was handed a retrospective eight-month suspension for an "inadvertent" doping violation. The 27-year-old's suspension started from January 15 and will end on September 14.

Gupta had inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance (terbutaline), which can be commonly found in cough syrups, the BCCI had said back in June, accepting the player's version of the incident.

The selectors met in Kolkata on Monday to pick the squads for Duleep Trophy. Faiz Fazal will captain India Blue, Abhinav Mukund will lead India Red and Parthiv Patel will skipper India Green.

Gupta has played six first-class matches, six List A games and nine T20s.

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