The Ranji Trophy, despite being India's premier domestic cricket competition, usually doesn't attract a lot of eyeballs, but it will be different when Hyderabad play Punjab in their 2012-13 season-opener. The match, starting on November 2 in Mohali, will have two big stars leading the respective teams - VVS Laxman and Harbhajan Singh.
Laxman, who retired from international cricket on August 18, just before the start of the Test series against New Zealand, was named Hyderabad's captain on Sunday (October 21). Harbhajan's appointment as Punjab captain was made earlier this month, on October 4.
At the time of announcing his retirement, Laxman had expressed a desire to continue playing for his state and contribute to Hyderabad cricket, adding that he would represent the team this season in a bid to realise his long-standing dream of winning the Ranji Trophy.
Dwaraka Ravi Teja, who led Hyderabad last season, will be the vice-captain of the team, while Pragyan Ojha, who was a part of India's playing XI during the New Zealand Test series at home, was also named in the squad for the game against Punjab.
Sunil Joshi, the former India left-arm spinner who also retired from competitive cricket earlier this year, willÂ continue as the team's coach, while Noel David, who represented India in four One-Day Internationals in 1997, remains the fielding coach.