Mumbai: The Indian cricket team play their first warm-up match against the Netherlands on Tuesday, and one man who instead of practising with the team is killing time on a cricket reality show is Mohammad Kaif.
Kaif was a core member of the 2003 World Cup team. But this time he will only catch them on his television set.
Mohammed Kaif during India's tour of the Carribean last year was the highest run-getter, even though the visitors lost the One-Day series 4-1. Kaif emerged as one of the star performers of the series from both sides.
But a year later, Kaif will be watching his teammates play from thousands of miles away, as they begin their quest to bring back the World Cup home after 23 years.
"I was lucky to be part of 2003 World Cup final. I am dissapointed to be left out as most of 2003 team has gone. But I hope they come back with the World Cup," Kaif says.
Protests were in full steam in Allahabad after the 26-year-old was dropped from the World Cup team. But after his poor run of form since West Indies, Kaif's selection was always in doubt.
In his seven One-Day games after the West Indies tour, he averaged just 16 with just 80 runs under his name with a highest score of 30. That was one of his two scores above 10 during this period.
"I have not been told why I was dropped neither have I been told about the areas to improve on. So I will continue to score and perform in domestic cricket," Kaif adds.
Kaif now would have wait for another four years to appear in a World Cup. Even though his form may have forced him out of the ninth edition, he surely has the age on his side to play the 10th one, and that too at home.