Injured Munaf returns home, Ishant to replace him
May 18, 2007 - 4:58:41 PM

Chittagong, May 18 - Pacer Munaf Patel is returning to India due to a back injury and will be replaced by Delhi pacer Ishant Sharma, the board announced Friday.

Patel was omitted for the first Test against Bangladesh that began here Friday, and left-arm-pacer Rudra Pratap Singh replaced him.

Niranjan Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India -, said in an e-mail message that the Baroda bowler 'has been declared unfit with pain in the lower back'.

Minutes after the e-mail landed in the in-boxes of several Indian reporters here, the team manager Surendra Bhave came to the press box and read out a hand-written statement.

He simply said that Patel was omitted from the XI because of a back spasm.

Strangely, Bhave did not say that Patel was returning home or that Sharma had been picked as his replacement though he should have known it as Shah's e-mail said: 'The team management - has decided to send Munaf back and they have requested a replacement for him.

'Chairman of selection committee Dilip Vengsarkar, in consultation with his colleagues, has decided to send young Ishant Sharma to reinforce the team -.'

The team manager is always part of the team management on tours.

Earlier, pacer Sreesanth was sent back to India with a calf problem. Singh, who was here for the One-day International series, was asked to stay back as his replacement.

India won the ODI series 2-0.

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