Ishan Kishan has not played a single first-class game for Jharkhand this season © AFP
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has taken decisive action against players who have been wasting time waiting for the Indian Premier League (IPL) to begin. In a bid to instil discipline among the players, the BCCI, along with the national selectors, has mandated their participation in state teams.
The directive, conveyed to players via email on Monday, applies to those who are neither currently part of the national team nor undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. With immediate effect, players are required to join their respective state teams for the next round of Ranji Trophy matches starting on February 16.
This missive, in particular, affects players like Ishan Kishan, who have shunned competitive cricket in favor of IPL preparations, as Cricbuzz recently reported. For example, Ishan, who trains in Baroda, is scheduled to play for his home state Jharkhand against Rajasthan in Jamshedpur.
However, this ruling is not directed at Ishan alone. It extends to other players like Krunal Pandya and Deepak Chahar, who have been inactive in the Ranji Trophy matches, and even individuals like Shreyas Iyer, who have been excluded from the national team due to poor form.
According to a BCCI official familiar with the decision, “Players cannot simply prioritize international cricket or the IPL. They must be available for domestic cricket and fulfill their commitments with their respective state teams.”
Ishan’s prolonged absence from competitive cricket has raised concerns in Indian cricket circles. His decision to opt out of playing for Jharkhand in the Ranji Trophy after being released from the Indian team during the South Africa series has drawn criticism. Despite the backlash, Ishan has remained steadfast in his decision to focus on the IPL preparations.