‘Ranji Trophy is the backbone of Indian cricket’: MPCA president agrees with Rohit Sharma’s ‘hunger’ statement

Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, BCCI

Indian captain Rohit Sharma had indirectly given a strict message to the cricketers who have not shown their willingness to play Test cricket.

While speaking at the press conference after the fourth IND vs ENG In the Test match, Rohit spoke about the young cricketers who showed their hunger to play Test cricket. The Indian captain gave a cryptic answer to the question and stated that the team management will only give opportunities to those who have the will and hunger to play the red-ball format. He said there is no point in playing against cricketers who don’t have that hunger.

The course IND vs ENG The Test series witnessed the debut of many young cricketers including the likes of Dhruv Jurel, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan and Akash Deep.

MPCA agrees with Rohit Sharma’s statement

While the BCCI has made it mandatory for cricketers, who have been off the field for unnecessary reasons, to play domestic cricket. However, cricketers like Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan did not follow the orders of the BCCI and retired from domestic cricket.

Shreyas Iyer, who did not perform well in the first two Tests of the series, was excluded from the team for the last three Tests. Iyer was supposed to play for Mumbai in the last 16 of the Ranji Trophy, but he cited back pain as the reason for withdrawing from the tournament. However, Iyer had received medical clearance from the NCA to participate in the series.

Ishan Kishan is also one such name, who pulled out of the IND vs ENG test series selection citing mental rigidity as the problem. Kishan was supposed to join Jharkhand in the knockout round of Ranji Trophy 2024, however, the left-handed batsman has now returned to the DY Patil Trophy along with Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association president Abhilash Khandekar agrees with the Indian captain and believes that younger players should play domestic cricket. He added that cricketers cannot take the Ranji Trophy lightly as it is the backbone of Indian cricket.

Speaking to PTI, he said: “I agree with the Indian captain. Younger cricketers should be hungry to play the longer format. No player can take the Ranji Trophy lightly, it is the backbone of Indian cricket. It is the most important tournament in national cricket. This should continue in other formats of domestic cricket.”

Apart from the MPCA president, several representatives of state associations acknowledged that Rohit was right when he indicated that people who are not willing to put in the effort should not be considered for the tougher format. However, they believe that a structure should be in place to prevent such a situation from occurring.

On the other hand, an official claimed that the Ranji Trophy may die a slow death if it is not made mandatory for all cricketers to play domestic cricket.

Indian batsmen have also found it difficult to play spin in local conditions, former Indian cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar revealed how domestic cricket helps improve a batsman’s ability to play spin. Former Indian cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar also weighed in on the importance of playing in the Ranji Trophy. He stated that he helps the batsman play against spin and also improves his skills.

The young Indian players rose to the occasion in the ongoing IND vs ENG Test series and played an important role in helping them gain a 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

Dhruv Jurel was named Man of the Match in the fourth Test match and proved to be the real difference between India and England. Jurel played important knocks in both innings of the match and showed brilliant batting talent. Jurel was also athletic with his gloves behind the wickets and would now hope to continue the same in the fifth Test match.

The fifth Test IND vs ENG test match will be played at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala starting March 7.