‘Country ko importance nahi de rahe:’ Former Indian pacer criticizes Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer

Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were dropped from the BCCI's annual central contracts list.

Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
The selectors were reported to be displeased with Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer for skipping Ranji Trophy games.

The debate between IPL and domestic cricket is the focal point in Indian cricket right now. The upcoming players seem to be prioritizing IPL at the expense of first-class cricket, considering the star-studded T20 league as the basis of success.

Many former cricketers have criticized those players and emphasised on the need to play first-class cricket and give importance to the national team. Recently, two high profile Indian players Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were omitted from BCCI’s annual contract list.

Kishan took a break from international cricket citing personal reasons. He was later found to be training with his IPL captain Hardik Pandya at Baroda instead of playing Ranji Trophy games for his state Jharkhand. Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer was dropped from India’s squad due to poor form. Instead of playing Mumbai’s Ranji quarter-final game for Mumbai, he was at KKR’s pre-season camp for IPL 2024.

Praveen Kumar criticizes Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer

While speaking to The Times of India, former India seamer Praveen Kumar spoke about the players’ choice to play for their IPL clubs rather than state first-class teams.

“I have been saying this for long. Paisa kamao, kaun mana kar rha hai? Paisa kamane chahiye lekin aise bhi nahi hona chahiye ki aap domestic nahi khel rahe, country ko importance nahi de rahe.(Earn money, who is stopping you? But it shouldn't be like you are not playing for the country or domestic cricket). This thing is now firmly in the mind of players,” Praveen said during his chat with TOI.

Praveen spoke about the mentality of players of current generation. He added that players are not willing to let go of IPL money mentally.

“Mai ek mahine pehle rest kar lunga, fir IPL khel lunga. Ye mentally hota hai, ki mai itne paise kaise chhorun (I will rest for a month before the IPL and then play. This happens because mentally you are not willing to let go of that much money). But this is not fair at all. A player needs to balance things. Money is important, but this (giving franchise cricket the priority) is wrong,” he mentioned.

The former India pacer also spoke about the benefits of IPL for the upcoming players as they get to share the dressing room with top-class players.

“IPL has given a lot of stars to Indian cricket. The youngsters have got a lot of benefits from this league as they get to share the dressing room and ground with the senior players not just from India but also from all around the world,” Praveen said.

“Support staff has been increased. You spend more than one and a half months with players across the globe, so there is obviously a huge learning experience,” he added.

Read: 'Gambhir got carried away' - Lucknow Super Giants player makes big remark on Gambhir-Kohli fight

Praveen Kumar was India’s premier new-ball bowler in ODIs. He picked up 77 wickets in 68 ODIs at an average of 36. He was known for his swing bowling upfront and swung the new ball both ways. He retired from all forms of cricket in 2018.

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