Frustrated with the lack of opportunities in Mumbai’s first XI, left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla and veteran batsman Bhavin Thakkar have switched allegiance to Kerala for the forthcoming domestic season.

With the deadline for domestic transfers for the coming season expiring on Thursday, it was confirmed that not only have Abdulla and Thakkar acquired the no objection certificates but have also signed contracts as professionals with the Kerala Cricket Association.

Both had featured in last season’s Ranji Trophy final, helping the domestic stalwart clinch its 41st title. While Abdulla was a part of the squad for the whole season, Thakkar got his maiden call-up since returning from Jharkhand after the 2013-14 season in the knockout phase. The seasoned Thakkar opened the batting during the semifinal and final before being dropped for the Irani Cup game.

While Abdulla remained unavailable for comment, it is understood that the 2008 Under-19 World Cup champion was getting increasingly frustrated with lack of consistent runs as Mumbai’s leading spinner. Competing with fellow left-arm spinners Vishal Dabholkar and Harmeet Singh for a permanent slot, Abdulla felt he was not getting his due.

Since then, he spent half the time in each of the domestic season warming the bench. Since time was running out for him to knock on the national selectors’ door, he is understood to have taken the professional route.

Thakkar had no qualms in voicing his disappointment. “They didn’t consider me this year. After I was picked for the semifinal and the final, I thought I would be back in the scheme of things,” Thakkar said.
Playing first-class cricket anywhere is a good, so you have to take your chances