Mumbai: Oct 19, 2012
Former India all-rounder Sanjay Bangar suggests senior players like Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan know the value of playing the Ranji Trophy and that may be the reason why these two Mumbai cricketers are back in the team to play against Railways.
The 40-year-old opener, who plays for Railways, said, “Senior India players know the value of playing domestic cricket. Tournaments like Ranji and Duleep are just a grade below international cricket. So if you perform here you are bound to shine at the highest level.”
"I still play domestic cricket not because of what I have done in the past, but because I am still performing. There are so many new challenges and you have to pull your weight as a senior member to guide your team through," he added.
Mumbai will play their opening match against Railways, starting on November 02.
Even Saurashtra's Shitanshu Kotak said on the linmes of Bangar.
"You play domestic games because you have the appetite for challenges, hunger for runs and passion for cricket," Kotak was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Kotak never got a game for India, but is a batting behemoth in the domestic circuit.
However, Bangar believes the senior players shouldn’t have signed up for a domestic game ahead of an international series.
"It would be the best thing if senior players opt to play domestic matches. But the tight international scheduling often doesn't provide such a scenario. First-class cricket is extremely competitive, so often senior players (mostly bowlers) prefer to rest to avoid injuries before a series. That's perfectly fine. But it would be silly for a senior player to assume that he can come and instantly score a hundred or take 10 wickets in a game and regain form.”
Former team India opener and Rajasthan player Aakash Chopra suggested that the players need to give importance to domestic cricket and not ponder over too much on IPL and under-19 success.
"It's better to lose a couple of years than lose a couple of players," Chopra concluded.