The Meghalaya Cricket Association on Tuesday named a 15-member squad for the BCCI domestic T20 tournament for men, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Meghalaya are in a tough group that consists of Hyderabad, Mumbai, Baroda, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, as well as fellow North East state Mizoram and Jammu and Kashmir.
Jaipur will host all of Meghalaya’s matches, which will begin on 16 October.
Named in the squad is a new guest professional player, Nakul Verma. He steps into the big shoes of Punit Bisht, who retired in August after guiding Meghalaya through its formative years in domestic cricket, having been with the state team since 2018-19, the very first season where Meghalaya featured on its own in BCCI competitions.
Like Bisht, Verma is a wicketkeeper-batter and has previously represented the Services team. The experienced 32-year-old Delhi native has played 38 first-class matches, 54 one-dayers and 43 T20s.
The other guest professional spot has been retained by all-rounder Rajesh Bishnoi, who performed well for Meghalaya in his first season with the team in 2022-23.
The Meghalaya domicile cricketers in the squad are a good mix of experience and youth, trending more towards the latter. In addition to the 15 in the main squad, five standbys have also been named.
A preparatory camp will run from 5 to 12 October in Shillong. Support staff and players hailing from outside Shillong will report for the camp on 4 October.
The team, minus the standbys, will then leave for Rajasthan on 13 October.
Meghalaya squad: Riboklang Hynniewta, Sylvester Mylliempdah, Arien Bonchang Sangma, Chengkam Sangma, Junjun M Sangma, Mewada Shylla, Sanvert Kurkalang, Kilco R Marak, Lerry G Sangma, Ram Gurung, Anish Charak, Akash K Choudhary, Amiangshu Sen, Rajesh Bishnoi (guest player), Nahul Verma (guest player)
Standbys: Lakhan Singh, Md Nafees Siddique, Adarsh Joshi, Sengpan Sangma, Robert R Sangma
Support staff: Goutam Shome (head coach), Moisten Ch Marak (assistant coach), Vikash Singh Chauhan (trainer), Surojit Biswas (physio), Dhruba Jyoti A Sangma (manager)
vs Hyderabad, 16 October
vs Mumbai, 17 October
vs Mizoram, 19 October
vs Chhattisgarh, 21 October
vs Jammu and Kashmir, 23 October
vs Haryana, 25 October
vs Baroda, 27 October