Sachin to play knockouts if Mumbai qualify

Sachin Tendulkar will not be a part of Mumbai's last Ranji Trophy league game against Gujarat starting Saturday, but said he would play for the side if they make it to the knock-out stage of the tournament.

Mumbai Cricket Association joint secretary Nitin Dalal said Tendulkar would not be a part of Mumbai's crucial ninth round fixture which is to be held at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai as he is currently on a holiday with his family.

"I asked him (Tendulkar) if he was available but he said since he is on a break, he won't be able to play (the Gujarat game). But he has made himself available for the knockouts," Dalal said.

Mumbai are currently placed third in Group A, tied on 20 points with Madhya Pradesh, who they beat by seven runs in a thriller in Indore on Tuesday. The game was also Zaheer Khan's first after his axing from the Indian team. Zaheer took 5/79 to fashion an improbable win, which was also the first for the domestic giants.

Punjab are the runaway leaders with 32 points having finished their fixtures while Gujarat are in second place on 21 points.

Madhya Pradesh take on fifth placed Saurashtra in Rajkot and Mumbai will ideally be looking for a win against Gujarat. Even if Mumbai secures the first innings lead, there is a good chance the side will finish among the top three teams that will progress to the last eight from the group.

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