A senior BCCI official clarified to the Times of India, the board’s decision to exempt Hardik Pandya from playing the Ranji Trophy, citing concerns over his ability to handle the demands of red-ball cricket.

A BCCI official reportedly provided insights to the Times of India regarding the exemption granted to Hardik Pandya from participating in the Ranji Trophy, contrasting it with the directive for Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer to take part. The decision follows the Kishan incident, where he prioritized personal training over state team commitments.

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Reports indicate the BCCI’s expectation for players like Kishan, Krunal Pandya, and Deepak Chahar to participate in the red-ball event, despite Krunal and Chahar’s limited recent first-class appearances.

Notably, no such directive has been issued to Hardik, who continues to focus on personal training. When questioned about this exception, a BCCI official cited Hardik’s injury history as the rationale.

ALSO READ | Back to Basics: BCCI Reportedly Orders Ishan Kishan, and Krunal Pandya to Participate in Ranji Trophy

“We can understand Hardik Pandya’s case as his body can’t take the rigors of red ball cricket. He can’t withstand the workload of Test cricket and India needs him fit for ICC events,” the senior official said.

The BCCI leadership is reportedly frustrated with cricketers prioritizing the IPL over red-ball cricket. To address this issue, the board is considering a mandatory requirement for players to participate in three to four Ranji Trophy matches to qualify for the IPL.

“The decision-makers in BCCI are well aware that some players don’t want to play any red ball cricket. If
they are out of Indian team, they would at best play a few Mushtaq Ali T20 games and then not report for state team duty during red ball season,” the official added.

The Indian team management shares this discontent, particularly with players avoiding Ranji Trophy commitments even when fit. Some players have been criticized for citing physiotherapy as a reason to skip state team duties.

Some of the other youngsters, whenever you call them, they will cite that they are currently doing physio work. There needs to be a stop somewhere,” the official concluded.

Notably, Ishan Kishan’s decision regarding participation in Jharkhand’s upcoming match against Rajasthan will be closely monitored.

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Last Updated on February 14, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter