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'Even if you're Rohit or Kohli...': 1983 World Cup winner emphasises domestic cricket's importance

A 1983 World Cup winner has emphasized on the importance of domestic cricket. He opened on BCCI's decision to not consider Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer for the BCCI annual contracts stating that even the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma should play domestic cricket.

Varun Malik Edited By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Updated on: February 29, 2024 17:50 IST
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Image Source : GETTY Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

The removal of Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from the BCCI annual player retainership has created a lot of stir. The duo's absence from the Ranji Trophy has seemingly hit them with a snub from the central contracts despite not being with the Indian team and being at other cricket-related activities. 

Former Indian all-rounder and member of the 1983 World Cup team Kirti Azad has opened up on Kishan and Iyer's snub from the contract list and highlighted the importance of domestic cricket. "It (directive) is a very good move. Everybody should be playing Ranji Trophy cricket, but currently the emphasis is on the IPL. It is good, it is entertaining but the real cricket is the (five) days' cricket. Playing in domestic cricket is good, it keeps you in touch," he told PTI.

He said that even the likes of Kohli and Rohit should play in domestic cricket when they are free. "But whenever you are free, even if you're a Rohit Sharma or a Virat Kohli, you should go back and play domestic cricket for the state. That (state) gave you the opportunity to be a player, get selected and then play for the country. He felt that penalising just Ishan and Iyer wasn't right. Just to penalise the two is not correct, I think everybody should be penalised. Everybody should be seen with the same mirror," Azad added.

He said that youngsters nowadays don't play for their state sides unlike in the previous times when senior players like Bishan Singh Bedi, Madan Lal, and Surinder Amarnath, among others, played for their states.

"My question is, are they playing enough domestic cricket? They are playing T20 cricket, nowadays and every other state has a T20 cricket league. Back in the days when we were starting our careers, players like Bishan Singh Bedi, Madan Lal, Surinder Amarnath, Mohinder Amarnath, Chetan Chauhan, Sunil Gavaskar, Sandeep Patil, Karsan Ghavri played alongside youngsters like me and Ravi Shastri.

"All these senior Test team players would play for their sides, would play for the pride of their state which seems missing in the youngsters nowadays," he added.

He praised Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel for playing for their state teams despite playing T20 cricket. "There are players like Jurel, and Sarfaraz who do play T20 cricket but, at the end of the day, are also representing their states in the Ranji trophy. The bowlers also get into the rhythm of bowling longer spells when they regularly play domestic cricket. It (Ranji) is not a form of slam-bang and thank you," he said.

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