'No one is bigger than the game' - Former Indian player backs Rohit Sharma's bold remark

The BCCI recently warned its cricketers not to prioritize IPL over first-class cricket.

Rohit Sharma gave his opinion on players prioritizing IPL?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
"We will give opportunities to only those who are hungry," said Rohit Sharma after India's win at Ranchi.

In the ongoing series against England, Team India are without several first-choice players, who were unavailable due to their respective reasons. But in their absence, India’s young brigade made sure to take the opportunity with both hands and register a series win with one match to go. Players like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dhruv Jurel, Sarfaraz Khan, and Akash Deep have impressed during various moments in the series.

After the win at Ranchi, India captain Rohit Sharma gave his opinion on the players preferring IPL over red-ball cricket. Rohit, while speaking to the press, said, "Jin logon ko bhookh hai, hum unhi logon ko mauka denge. Agar hunger nahi hai to unko khila ke koi matlab nahi hai (We will give opportunities to only those who are hungry. There's no point in playing those who don't have the hunger)."

Rohit’s comments have drawn widespread attention among the Indian cricket fraternity. Many former cricketers and state associations have come out in support of India’s captain and shared their views on the ongoing concern.

Dilip Vengsarkar backs Rohit Sharma’s remark

Former India cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar supported Rohit Sharma’s opinion. He was also critical of Indian players struggling against spin in the ongoing series.

"Playing Ranji is very important. It helps you play spin better on Indian wickets, your overall skills are improved. And when you play foreign teams, it becomes easier. I feel it is a player's wish whether to play Ranji or not. If he doesn't want to play, we have enough in India to choose from, they will play and establish themselves. No one is bigger than the game. No one is indispensable," said Vengsarkar.

Recently, Indian players have succumbed to overseas spinners on multiple occasions. In the ongoing series, Shoaib Bashir, a rookie who has played just 6 first-class matches, picked up 8 wickets at Ranchi, and troubled India throughout the match. Tom Hartley, another inexperienced spinner, picked up 9 wickets in Hyderabad to win the Test for his country.

Abhilash Khandekar, president of Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association was another one who came out in support of Indian captain.

"I concur with the Indian captain. There should be hunger in younger cricketers to play the longest format. Ranji Trophy cannot be taken lightly by any player, it is the backbone of Indian cricket. It is the most important tournament in domestic cricket. This should be followed up in other formats in domestic cricket," he told PTI.

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Jay Shah, BCCI secretary, had warned the cricketers recently not to prefer IPL over first-class cricket after few of them decided to skip Ranji Trophy fixtures. Shreyas Iyer, who was one of those cricketers who skipped the Ranji quarter-final game, has decided to be available for Mumbai’s semifinal against Tamil Nadu.