BCCI mandates Ranji Trophy participation for players

The ruling comes amid growing concerns around players like Ishan Kishan, who opted out of competing in the Ranji Trophy after his release from the national squad following the South Africa series. He, along with Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar, and even out-of-form former national team member Shreyas Iyer, fall under the ambit of this mandatory participation rule.

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Courtesy: ANI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has issued a stern directive mandating participation in the Ranji Trophy for players, who are not involved in the national team or rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

The decisive action, communicated via email on Monday, specifically targets players who have been prioritizing personal training or other activities instead of actively representing their state teams. The directive takes effect immediately, requiring these players to join their respective teams for the upcoming round of Ranji Trophy matches starting February 16.

What forced BCCI to do so?

The ruling comes amid growing concerns around players like Ishan Kishan, who opted out of competing in the Ranji Trophy after his release from the national squad following the South Africa series. He, along with Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar, and even out-of-form former national team member Shreyas Iyer, fall under the ambit of this mandatory participation rule.

Crickbuzz quoted a BCCI report, "Players cannot simply prioritize international cricket or the IPL; They must make themselves available for domestic cricket and honor their commitments to their respective state teams."

Ishan Kishan abstains from Ranji matches

Ishan's recent absence from competitive cricket has sparked widespread debate within Indian cricket circles. His decision to focus exclusively on IPL preparations has drawn criticism from experts and fans who emphasize the importance of domestic matches in honing skills and maintaining match fitness.

What would be the benefits of the new rule?

The BCCI mandate aims to address this very issue, ensuring that players consistently participate in domestic cricket and contribute to the development of the sport at the grassroots level. The directive sends a clear message that prioritizing personal agendas over state team commitments will not be tolerated.

However,  several players might express initial displeasure, and this enforced Ranji Trophy participation could prove ultimately beneficial. It provides them with crucial competitive exposure, a chance to rediscover their form, and a platform to impress national selectors. The upcoming Ranji Trophy round will be intriguing to observe, not just for the quality of cricket but also to see how the mandated players respond to this challenge. Will they embrace the opportunity to prove their mettle or remain resistant to the BCCI's directive? Only time will tell.