Former cricketers question not releasing players for Ranji Trophy final

Cheteshwar Pujara, who is in the Indian ODI squad playing against England, is yet to make a debut © Getty Images

Mumbai: Jan 25, 2013
Former cricketers questioned BCCI’s policy of not releasing Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja for Ranji trophy final which starts on January 26 at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium.
Team India sealed the series on Wednesday by taking 3-1 lead against England, with only one fame left. There are speculations that the final match at Dharamsala might not be played due to poor weather conditions.
In such a case, former India captain Ajit Wadekar said that the players should have been released.
“Anyway the series has been won. So, they can try some other youngsters and release these four players for the Ranji final. The best teams and players should be playing the final. It is after all our premier domestic tournament. The availability of top players will also create some excitement among the public as well,” Wadekar was quoted as saying by MiD-DAY.
Even former India batsman and coach Anshuman Gaekwad said Ranji Trophy final could have been postponed to accommodate top players availability for the final.
“The Indian board could have postponed the Ranji final by two days. I don’t see an issue in doing this. It is a Ranji final and not any other match. It is a big occasion in domestic cricket. It would have been a win-win situation for the Board and the players,” Gaekwad said.
“Those players, who will not figure in the playing XI, should be released for the final. It would have given them quality practice before the Test series against Australia (February 22 onwards).”
“The Indian team management might not want to disturb the combination after finding the winning momentum after a long time,” he added.
The final ODI at Dharamsala will take place on January 27, a day after the Ranji Trophy final starts.
Saurashtra batsman Sitanshu Kotak felt that Pujara and Jadeja will be missed.
“We don’t have big names. We will miss Jadeja and Pujara, but it isn’t in our control. It is okay if India wants to win the ODI series against England 4-1 to be in a good frame of mind after having a tough time in the last couple of months. But if they want to prepare players for the Australia series, then this match could have been ideal practice for Pujara and Rahane.”
“However, any player would always prefer playing for the country over his state,” he concluded.