April 24, 2024

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah has penned a note to top cricketers, including centrally contracted and India ‘A’ players, emphasing the importance of domestic cricket for national selection. According to a report in the Indian Express, Shah warned the players that domestic red-ball games remain a “critical yardstick for selection” and non-participation in it will have “severe implications”. According to the letter, Shah addressed “the concerning trend of players prioritising the Indian Premier League (IPL) over domestic red-ball cricket”.

“There is a recent trend that has started to emerge and is a cause for concern. Some players have begun prioritising the IPL over domestic cricket, a shift that was not anticipated. Domestic cricket has always been the foundation upon which Indian cricket stands, and it has never been undervalued in our vision for the sport,” Shah wrote in the letter, as reported by the paper.

“Our vision for Indian cricket has been clear from the outset – every cricketer aspiring to play for India must prove themselves in domestic cricket. Performance in domestic cricket remains a critical yardstick for selection and non-participation in domestic cricket will carry severe implications,” the letter added.

For the unversed, the likes of Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar skipped the final round of Ranji Trophy games to prepare for the upcoming season of the IPL.

Kishan was seen training with Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya in Baroda.

In his letter, Shah said that while the board is proud of the IPL’s popularity and success, players must play domestic red-ball games and understand its relevance.

“Legends like Sunil Gavaskar exemplified this dedication, playing club cricket the morning they arrived from an international tour. Domestic cricket was seen not just as a commitment but as a responsibility and a source of pride,” Shah wrote in the letter.

A few days back, the BCCI had urged Kishan to play domestic games. However, the player reportedly said he was “working on certain technical aspects” of his game and was not ready for red-ball cricket.

Shah had then suggested that the board will not entertain any excuses if a player is fit.

“If you are fit then no excuse will be entertained,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah recently told the media ahead of the third Test against England in Rajkot.

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