Robin Uthappa will play for Saurashtra in the upcoming 2017-18 season of the Ranji Trophy. The Karnataka batsman will be there for the next season, confirmed Himanshu Shah, media manager of the Saurashtra Cricket Association.
There were reports that Uthappa, 31, was in talks with Kerala Cricket Association to move down south. However, he will be joining the Gujarat-based team for the next domestic season. Incidentally, his last game for Karnataka came last season against Saurashtra, where his new team won by 4 wickets and Uthappa scored only 14 and 8 runs in both innings.
Saurashtra is captained by Jaydev Shah and coached by Sitanshu Kotak. The team boasts of Indian internationals like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja, but due to their international commitments, don’t play all games.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has won two Ranji Trophy titles with Karnataka, with his contributions being crucial in them defending their title in 2015, where he was the highest run-getter in the league with 912 runs in 19 innings. In his 130 first-class games, he has scored 6865 runs at 41.85, including 18 centuries and 33 half-centuries.
However, he scored only 328 runs from 12 innings in the last season with the state team and was dropped for their last league game against Maharashtra. He was then left out of Karnataka’s 16-man squad for the quarter-final against Tamil Nadu, which they lost by seven wickets despite the presence of KL Rahul and Karun Nair. He wasn’t picked in the Karnataka T20 side as well, despite his good run with Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.