BCCI warns players: Don’t prioritise IPL over domestic cricket


BCCI secretary Jay Shah has asked centrally-contracted India players to “prove” themselves in domestic cricket if they aspire to play for the country and warned that non-participation will lead to “severe implications”. In a letter Shah wrote to the players earlier this week, which has been accessed by ESPNcricinfo, he said the “trend” of prioritising IPL over domestic cricket was a “cause for concern”.

While saying the board was proud of the IPL’s success over the years, Shah wrote: “However, there is a trend that has started to emerge and is a cause for concern. Some players have begun prioritising the IPL over domestic cricket, a shift that was not anticipated. Domestic cricket has always been the foundation upon which Indian cricket stands, and it has never been undervalued in our vision for the sport.

“It is essential to recognise that domestic cricket forms the backbone of Indian cricket and serves as the feeder line to Team India. Our vision for Indian cricket has been clear from the outset – every cricketer aspiring to play for India must prove themselves in domestic cricket. Performance in domestic tournaments remains a critical yardstick for selection, and non-participation in domestic cricket will carry severe implications.”

Shah said the letter was “not a critique but a reminder of the values that have shaped Indian cricket over the years. It is a call to collectively ensure that we do not dilute the significance of domestic cricket or weaken its core structure. The responsibility rests with each one of us, as custodians of the game, to uphold the essence of domestic cricket and work together to elevate Indian cricket to newer heights.”

The letter will put the spotlight on players like Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar who have been out of the India squads recently for various reasons. Iyer has a Grade B BCCI contract whereas Kishan holds a Grade C contract. Chahar was not included the last time the BCCI renewed the contracts.

Kishan last played for India in the T20I series against Australia in November before he pulled out of the South Africa tour at the turn of the year for personal reasons. He was then left out of the ongoing Test series against England. He has in the interim not decided to play the Ranji Trophy for Jharkhand and was reportedly training in Baroda along with Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya.

Iyer, on the other hand, was dropped for the last three Tests against England after managing a top score of 35 in the first two Tests. Even though he played one round of the Ranji Trophy in January before the Tests, he didn’t play the last round of the league stage of the tournament.

Chahar had also asked for time off because of personal reasons and has since regained his fitness, but he has also not played for Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy and last played a competitive game in December. He did, however, play the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy and the 20-over Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy late last year.

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