The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has reportedly issued a stringent mandate to its players not involved in international duties or undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy. The board insists that all fit players, not currently part of the senior national team, must actively participate in the Ranji Trophy for their respective teams. This decision comes amidst a growing concern over the situation of wicket-keeper batter Ishan Kishan, who has shown reluctance to compete in the Ranji Trophy despite being in good health.
Since departing the South Africa tour due to mental fatigue, Ishan has been absent from competitive cricket matches. His most recent appearance was during practice sessions with his Mumbai Indians captain, Hardik Pandya, at the Reliance Stadium. Despite clear instructions from Team India’s head coach, Rahul Dravid, urging players to engage in cricket activities, Ishan appears to be following his own path. Reports indicate that instead of representing his state team, Jharkhand, in the Ranji Trophy, Ishan has opted to train in Baroda, a decision that has raised eyebrows within the BCCI.
Following the BCCI’s directive, Ishan, currently training in Baroda, is expected to join his home state team, Jharkhand, in their match against Rajasthan in Jamshedpur.
Other players, such as Krunal Pandya and Deepak Chahar, who have been absent from Ranji Trophy matches, are also expected to comply with the new directive. This rule also applies to senior players like Shreyas Iyer, who was not selected for the last three Tests against England.
“Players cannot solely prioritize international cricket or the IPL. They are obligated to make themselves available for domestic cricket and fulfill their commitments to their respective state teams,” a source commented on the matter, as reported by Cricbuzz.
The board has expressed concerns that some players have shifted into IPL mode since January. Notably, Krunal Pandya was seen training with Hardik and Ishan in Baroda in recent weeks.