February 29, 2024

The BCCI are not very happy with some of their international stars deciding to skip the elite red-ball domestic tournament Ranji Trophy and putting all their focus on Indian Premier League. IPL 2024 is likely to start at the end of March. However, some players including Ishan Kishan decided to skip it and rather train in a private facility in Baroda to get ready for IPL. Kishan’s act has not gone down well with BCCI and the current team management.

The Jharkhand wicketkeeper and batter had left the team in December last year just before the away Test series vs South Africa. He was part of the Test squad and was set to play in the two Tests as well. When Kishan left, it was reported that he had requested BCCI for a break as he had been traveling non-stop with the team since Asia Cup. But since then, Kishan has not found his way back into the team.

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Reports started to come in about Kishan’s alleged indiscipline and poor attitude as his name did not feature in the T20Is vs Afghanistan at home. Back then, India head coach Rahul Dravid clarified to the press that Kishan needs to play domestic cricket to get his place back in the Indian team. Kishan was not available for selection, he had added. Despite Dravid’s statement, it was not confirmed whether Kishan was being dropped for his indiscipline.

BCCI was initially upset with Kishan for going to party in Dubai after saying he needed a break. Then, the batter began to snub Ranji Trophy and missed five matches for the home side Jharkhand. JSCA secretary was quoted as saying that Kishan had not reached out to them regarding his availability for Ranji Trophy match and that he would feature in XI as soon as he made himself available. But days later, Kishan was found training at Kiran More Academy in Baroda with Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya.

This act by Kishan has pushed BCCI to make it mandatory for national-level players to play in Ranji Trophy if they are not injured, recovering or on a break due to personal commitments. Players who are not currently part of the national squad or undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru received an email on Monday containing a directive. Effective immediately, they are required to join their respective state teams for the upcoming round of Ranji Trophy matches starting on February 16th.

Kishan is expected to play the next match for Jharkhand in Jamshedput against Rajasthan. Not to forget, some of the veterans like Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane are also playing Ranji Trophy. Prithvi Shaw joined Mumbai camp after recovering from knee injury and slammed a hundred too.

Might be safe to say that Ishan Kishan’s career is over and management has moved passed him. Amidst all this, real victim is Sanju Samson who was ignored all these years for Ishan despite being a dedicated athlete. — Himanshu Pareek (@Sports_Himanshu) February 10, 2024

This ruling by BCCI to instill discipline in players does not just limit to Kishan. Even Krunal Pandya and Deepak Chahar have not been playing Ranji Trophy matches despite being free from injuries.

According to a BCCI official familiar with the decision, “Players cannot simply prioritize international cricket or the IPL. They must make themselves available for domestic cricket and honor their commitments to their respective state teams.”

Clearly, this is a strong message from BCCI to Kishan and other players who needed this jolt. There are also reports that Kishan was not happy with Jitesh Sharma replacing him in the T20I XI against South Africa in December. Hopefully, some day, Kishan will come out with his own version of the recent developments but for now, he has been handed a lesson by BCCI and he must admit, it is for his own good.