Ruturaj Gaikwad, an off-spinner, will captain a Maharashtra side of 20 players in the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day cricket event, which begins on Wednesday. The selecting committee picked Rahul Tripathi as Gaikwad’s deputy. Maharashtra will compete in Elite Group D against Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Uttarakhand, and Chandigarh in Rajkot. On Wednesday, they face Madhya Pradesh in their first match. Sandeep Sharma, a medium-pacer, has opted to relocate to Chandigarh after being ignored by the Punjab selection for the forthcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy.

The 28-year-old fast bowler received a no-objection certificate from his home state of Punjab and will make his Vijay Hazare Trophy debut against Kerala (Elite Group D) on Wednesday at the Madhav Rao Scindia Cricket Ground in Rajkot. Sharma told The Indian Express that he made the transfer since his company, Bharat Petroleum, is based in Chandigarh.

“I relocated to Chandigarh because it is where my office is located. It was just a personal decision,” Sharma explains, referring to his two T20I appearances for India against Zimbabwe in 2015. This paper learns, however, that he was not guaranteed a spot in the Vijay Hazare Trophy or the Ranji Trophy. He was not a member of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy team.

“He wanted to play all three formats,” a PCA official explains, “but he was fourth in the pecking order in the pace department after Siddharth Kaul, Arshdeep Singh, and Baltej Singh.” The wiry speedster has played 44 first-class, 49 List A, and 48 T20s matches since making his senior debut for Punjab in the 2011-12 season. Chandigarh received affiliation a few years ago and competes in white-ball competitions in the Elite Group. They are, nevertheless, in the Plate Division of the Ranji Trophy.

“For the time being, my focus is on white-ball cricket, and Chandigarh is competing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with Elite teams. Yes, they will be in the Plate Group in the Ranji Trophy, but this is a group of excellent players, and I am confident that we will achieve promotion this season,” Sharma says.