Home > Features >

BCCI could have allowed players to play in Ranji Trophy and adjusted departures to New Zealand accordingly

Players like Rohit Sharma (left) and Mohammed Shami (centre) missed the chance to play in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals due to the clash of dates with the Indian team's departure to New Zealand © PTI
Players like Rohit Sharma (left) and Mohammed Shami (centre) missed the chance to play in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals due to the clash of dates with the Indian team’s departure to New Zealand © PTI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently refused to allow six Indian players to participate in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals which clashes with the Indian team’s departure to New Zealand by a day. Abhijit Banare elaborates on why the players should have been there.

Going by past records of Ranji Trophy seasons, this time around the tournament has been comparatively even, with no team dominating throughout the season. Teams like Bengal and Mumbai just about made the cut. During the knockouts, the respective teams would have been more than delighted to have some of their senior players in the side to boost the morale and performance. Yet for reasons best known to the BCCI, the players were refused permission to participate in the tournament. India are scheduled for departure to New Zealand on January 12 and the quarter-finals’ fifth day ends on the same day. Just about a week before the start of the One-Day International (ODI) series since then, the players would have loved to represent their respective sides. Below are a list of players who couldn’t play the Ranji quarter-finals:

Player Team
Stuart Binny Karnataka
Rohit Sharma Mumbai
Ajinkya Rahane Mumbai
Mohammed Shami Bengal
Suresh Raina Uttar Pradesh
Bhuvneshwar Kumar Uttar Pradesh

Since it was not possible to participate, Mohammed Shami joined the Bengal camp to help the pacers to prepare for the crunch game. This does indicate how much it means for the players to see their domestic sides perform well. Bengal and Mumbai are two teams lucky to get the services of players who were selected for the Test side. The value of having a player like Zaheer Khan leading your side in a knockout game is priceless. Zaheer’s presence not just keeps the opposition batsmen on its toes, but raises the level of the other players in the team. On the first day we saw one example of the difference an international player can make. Bengal who had given away the initial advantage to Railways were held together by Wriddhiman Shaha’s unbeaten half-century. The wicketkeeper-batsman is batting with the lower-order to keep his team’s hopes alive. We will see Zaheer in action on the second day to know what he has to give.

As Rahul Dravid said to Espncricinfo that there have been occasions in the past where the players have joined the team late or a bit early as well. While Venkatesh Prasad raised the point of Bhuvneshwar Kumar lacking match practice, the same goes with Suresh Raina who hasn’t been in great touch either. A century in the key clash would have virtually changed the mindset on the eve of the departure for him. Struggling to deal with bounce, Raina would have needed that match badly. The same is the case for Rohit Sharma. It is equally important for players in form as well but it depends on whether they prefer to give themselves rest or keep the momentum going by playing more matches. Both Ajinkya Rahane for India and Stuart Binny in his last game for Karnataka, looked in good touch. You can never judge the frustrations of the coach of these teams as they lose their key players for a knockout game. And as mentioned by Dravid and Prasad, the interest factor too rises considerably when fans get to see these players in a domestic match.

This isn’t the first instance of the board’s strange decisions to not allow players to participate in Ranji matches. In January 2013, when first-time finalists Saurashtra and Mumbai were set to lock horns for the title, some of the key players — Rahane, Rohit, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja were away on national duty for the home series against England. Since it was a dead rubber for India, there was demand from the state boards to release the players for the final. In fact, Niranjan Shah himself requested for Pujara and Jadeja to be released. Yet the board didn’t relent. Saurashtra were eventually thrashed by Mumbai at home. But things could have been much more even and competitive if the big players had made their presence felt.

It’s best left to one’s own opinion whether BCCI is serious about promoting its domestic cricket by not allowing the national players to play in the quarter-finals. But it surely is a loss for both parties as the players would have gained a lot from the match practice and the teams too would have been in good spirit walking in with their main players. Wonder if January 12 was an Indian Premier League (IPL) final with Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings clashing. Would MS Dhoni, Rohit and others be asked to travel with the team? It’s all about priorities and the board didn’t feel the quarter-finals were as important to grab the eyeballs in comparison to an IPL final.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Suresh Raina gifts Aditya Garhwal an autographed bat

Dwayne Bravo says West Indies pull-out had everybody’s consent

Bangladesh gain upper-hand over Zimbabwe at stumps on Day 1 of 1st Test

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand 2014 West Indies

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan considered skipping Tests

Michael Clarke: Younis Khan is one of the gentlemen of our game

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone to meet South Zone in final

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: David Warner admits that Australia is not scared of big targets

Younis Khan scores 26th ton to establish Pakistan record

Younis Khan becomes seventh Pakistani cricketer to score two hundreds in a Test

Virat Kohli and others with 20 ODI hundreds

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Strangers, Brothers and Cricket— the English novelist CP Snow’s lasting passion for the game

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here