Mumbai: Defending champions Mumbai are hopeful that senior pacer and season's captain-designate Zaheer Khan would play in their January 8-12 Ranji Trophy quarter-final against arch-foes Maharashtra at the Wankhede Stadium here.
Zaheer is just back from South Africa and his inclusion will boost a depleted Mumbai, who have been found struggling this season and there bowling has floundered at times.
"He has sought time till tomorrow to let us know whether he would be able to play. Our selection committee is to meet tomorrow afternoon to pick the squad and we are hoping that Zaheer will be available to play," said Mumbai Cricket Association Joint Secretary Nitin Dalal today.
The left-arm speedster played four games for Mumbai this Ranji season in which he grabbed 16 wickets before proceeding to South Africa for the two-Test series, where he claimed seven scalps.
The 35-year-old bowler, who reached the landmark of 300 Test wickets in South Africa, is part of the Test squad chosen for India's next assignment in New Zealand commencing later this month.
The ODI squad for the tour is to leave on January 12 while Zaheer and a couple of other Test specialists like Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay are set to depart a week later, which gives the experienced campaigner a chance to play the quarter-final on his home ground.
Mumbai, however, would be without the services of their star batsmen Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane for the remainder of the Ranji campaign as they are part of the ODI as well as Test squad picked to tour New Zealand.