In recent discussions within Indian cricket circles, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has underscored the importance of Ranji Trophy participation for certain players.

This emphasis comes in light of concerns raised after Indian wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan opted for personal training over representing his state team, Jharkhand. The BCCI aims to ensure that players like Ishan, along with others such as Krunal Pandya and Deepak Chahar, prioritize red-ball cricket, seen as essential for their overall development.

However, amidst this push towards mandatory Ranji Trophy participation, an exception has been noted for all-rounder Hardik Pandya. This exception has raised questions, especially given the BCCI’s efforts to prioritize red-ball cricket for players.

Addressing queries regarding Hardik Pandya’s exemption, a BCCI┬ásource, speaking to the Times of India, shed light on the player’s injury history and the physical strain imposed by red-ball cricket on his body.

The official highlighted that Hardik’s body might not withstand the workload of Test cricket, emphasizing the need to keep him fit for ICC events, where his presence is crucial for Team India.

Hardik Pandya’s last Test appearance for India was during the tour of England in 2018, while his last Ranji Trophy match dates back to the same year, where he showcased his all-round abilities with seven wickets and 73 runs against Mumbai.

The frustration within the BCCI regarding players favoring the Indian Premier League (IPL) over red-ball cricket is palpable. Discussions are underway to potentially mandate participation in 3-4 Ranji Trophy matches as a prerequisite for IPL eligibility.

BCCI officials have expressed concerns over players prioritizing T20 cricket over the traditional format, emphasizing the need to strike a balance and preserve the significance of domestic tournaments like the Ranji Trophy.


By Ritik Sharma

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