BCCI should ban those ignoring Ranji Trophy: Rohit Sharma’s ‘Jinko bhookh nahi hai’ remark takes Indian cricket by storm

Rohit Sharma’s comment got support from many state cricket groups, but they said that BCCI should create a system to prevent such situations.


While the thrilling Test cricket with England was happening, Indian cricket faced a big problem. BCCI secretary Jay Shah had to step in and warn all players under central contracts. The warning was for those who were choosing Indian Premier League (IPL) over playing in domestic cricket. Rohit Sharma, the captain of the Indian team, also spoke up after winning against Ben Stokes and his team in Ranchi. He said that chances to play in Test cricket will only be given to those who really want it. This statement, made at the post-match press conference on Monday at the JSCA International Stadium, stirred things up among state cricket groups.


Many cricketing nations are dealing with the debate between playing for a club or the country, especially with the rise of T20 leagues worldwide. BCCI noticed that Indian players were leaning more towards league cricket in the past few years. Earlier this month, Shah warned that players who prioritize league cricket over domestic matches will face serious consequences. This came after players like Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan chose not to play in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season and focused on preparing for the IPL, which starts next month.


Rohit addressed the IPL versus domestic cricket matter, saying, “We will give opportunities to only those who are hungry. There’s no point in playing those who don’t have the hunger.”


The hunger Rohit talked about was evident when young players like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel, and Akash Deep performed exceptionally well against a strong England side. They made sure India didn’t miss the senior players who couldn’t participate for various reasons.


Rohit’s statement received support from many state cricket associations, although they agreed that BCCI needs to create a system to prevent such situations.


“I agree with the Indian captain. Young cricketers should have the hunger to play the longest format,” said Abhilash Khandekar, president of Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association. “Ranji Trophy is crucial; it is the backbone of Indian cricket. It is the most important tournament in domestic cricket. This should be followed in other formats in domestic cricket.”


Former cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar believes that BCCI’s directive could help players perform better against spin, especially with experienced players struggling against it.


“Playing Ranji is very important. It helps you play spin better on Indian wickets; your overall skills are improved. And when you play foreign teams, it becomes easier,” said Vengsarkar. “I feel it is a player’s wish whether to play Ranji or not. If he doesn’t want to play, we have enough in India to choose from, they will play and establish themselves. No one is bigger than the game. No one is indispensable.”


An anonymous state unit official suggested that regular Test players should also play in Ranji Trophy matches. This could motivate young players, and the BCCI should give state bodies the authority to ban players who ignore domestic cricket.


“This was a much-needed step and should have been taken earlier. If an India player is regularly featured in the Ranji Trophy, it acts as a massive motivator to the younger players in the squad. I would also want the BCCI to empower state units to ban those players who don’t play Ranji Trophy. If a senior is dropped for once, the juniors would not dare to ignore their red ball commitments for T20 cricket,” the official said.

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