"Even if you're Rohit or Kohli": '83 WC winner wants BCCI to make Ranji Trophy participation compulsory

With many players shifting focus to IPL, BCCI recently mandated centrally contracted cricketers to play in domestic tournaments. 
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A lot of criticism has happened of late, especially with India stars and BCCI centrally contracted cricketers not showing eagerness to play domestic cricket while not on national duty. This has not sit well with the board, especially with the young cricketers being lured by lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) contracts. 

And it was evident from the list published by BCCI for centrally contracted players for the current season. Both Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan, who did not play in the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2024 faced the axe and were left without any contract. 

Echoing on the same lines, 1983 World Cup winner Kirti Azad emphasised that BCCI's directive for cricketers to play Ranji Trophy is a good move and the rule should be applicable to every India team player, including stalwarts like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

Kirti Azad shares his views on latest BCCI central contracts

He said, "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.

"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." 

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Meanwhile, Azad heaped praises on players like Dhruv Jurel and Sarfaraz Khan for finding the balance between T20 cricket for their IPL teams and playing Ranji Trophy.

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