The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) has issued a stern directive to established Indian players, urging them to prioritize participation in domestic tournaments like the Ranji Trophy over early preparations for the Indian Premier League (IPL). This directive comes in response to reports of players, including star batter Ishan Kishan, focusing on IPL training rather than featuring in the Ranji Trophy.
According to sources, the BCCI is set to communicate with players in the coming days, urging them to represent their state teams in the Ranji Trophy, provided they are not on national duty. The only exceptions will be players recovering from injuries at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).
“In the next few days, all the players will be communicated to by the BCCI to play for their state team in the Ranji Trophy, as long as they are not on national duty, with only those who are unfit and recovering at the NCA being granted an exemption,” a source in the know was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
The directive applies to several established players in the Indian team, emphasizing that every player, regardless of their stature, should contribute to the domestic circuit. Even players like Ishan Kishan, who is currently training with Mumbai Indians in Baroda, have been reminded that representing the country and their state in the Ranji Trophy should take precedence over early IPL preparations.
A BCCI source said,
“In the next few days, all the players will be communicated by the BCCI to play for their state team in the Ranji Trophy, as long as they are not on national duty, with only those who are unfit and recovering at the NCA being granted an exemption. The Board… pic.twitter.com/NrINVynhDi
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Notably, Ishan Kishan opted not to make himself available for selection in the Ranji Trophy for Jharkhand, a decision that raised eyebrows among cricket enthusiasts. Former all-rounder Irfan Pathan also expressed confusion regarding players skipping domestic tournaments.
With the BCCI making its stance clear, it remains to be seen how players, including Ishan Kishan, respond to the directive. The 17th edition of the IPL is scheduled to commence in the summer of 2024, and the BCCI aims to ensure that players prioritize national duties and domestic competitions over early IPL preparations that started as early as January.