Ravindra Jadeja will not be featuring for Saurashtra when they take on Bengal in the final of the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy at the Eden Gardens after BCCI President Sourav Ganguly denied the allrounder permission to do so. Jadeja will instead be part of the Indian squad that will play three T20Is against South Africa at home.

The news was confirmed by Jaydev Shah, president of the Saurashtra Cricket Association, who had requested Ganguly for the permission to let Jadeja come on board for the summit clash starting March 9. “I spoke to him [Ganguly] and was told that the board can’t allow Jadeja to play Ranji as country comes first,” he revealed.

The three South Africa T20Is take place on March 12, 15 and 18 in Dharamsala, Lucknow and Kolkata respectively. Shah informed how Ganguly sounded not in in favour of international matches being planned the same time as a match as big as the final of the Ranji Trophy and that the BCCI president hoped for a more IPL-like structure of scheduling going forward.

“If BCCI wants people to watch their premier domestic cricket then no international game should be held during Ranji final, henceforth. It’s my suggestion. Will BCCI keep an international match during IPL? No, because it gives money. Ranji Trophy can only be popularised if star players play at least in the finals. Don’t keep any international cricket during finals, have a proper window,” the former Saurashtra captain Shah said.

The development is also likely to rule out Mohammed Shami’s participation for Bengal. With Saurashtra taking on Bengal at Eden Gardens, the Ranji Trophy final was expected to be a bumper contest with stars such as Jadeja, Shami expected to return. However, the only two international stars turning up for the match will be Test specialists Wriddhiman Saha and Cheteshwar Pujara. Shah rued the timing of the South Africa series, saying it would have been a treat to have big stars turning up for the Ranji Trophy final.

“I would have loved to see him (Jadeja) play the Ranji Trophy final for us, why only Jadeja, I would have loved to see Mohammad Shami (for Bengal) also.” Shah said. “I was in constant touch with Chintu (Pujara) when he was in New Zealand. He cares for the team as much as I do. He was on the flight back from New Zealand when we won. The top-order hasn’t been scoring, so having him back will be really good. whenever Cheteshwar is around, our batting unit plays differently. They have that confidence and reliance when he is there.”