Nagpur:Injury to key players and the ensuing Twenty20 Champions League will mean that the N K P Salve Challenger Trophy will begin without much star power at the VCA Jamtha stadium from Thursday.
Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Rohit Sharma are some of the prominent names that will be missing during the 50-overs cricket tournament.
Dravid will be seen donning the colours of Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sehwag and Gambhir will represent Delhi Daredevils, and Rohit Sharma will be on duty for IPL-II winners Deccan Chargers in the inaugural Champions League, also starting tomorrow.
Yuvraj and Irfan are out of the tournament due to injuries, while Tendulkar has opted for rest prior to the seven-match ODI series against Australia.
Maharashtra's Ameya Shrikhande will replace Yuvraj, who was also India Red team skipper which will be now led by Tamil Nadu batsman S Badrinath, and Vikramjeet Malik has been named as a replacement for India Green's Irfan Pathan.
Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund, fresh from his century in the Irani Cup for Rest of India against Mumbai, has been rewarded with a place in the India Blue side, as a replacement for Sachin Tendulkar. Saurabh Tiwary will replace India Green's Manoj Tiwari, who has been summoned by Delhi Daredevils.