Indian batter skips Ranji Trophy citing injury; NCA says player is fit

The issue of players skipping Ranji Trophy matches prompted BCCI to warn its centrally-contracted players not to prioritize IPL over domestic cricket.

Shreyas Iyer skipped Mumbai's Ranji quarterfinal clash?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
Shreyas Iyer was dropped from the last three Tests against England.

Middle order batter Shreyas Iyer has reportedly cited back pain as the reason for the unavailability in Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy quarterfinal clash against Baroda, which starts on Friday. Although, Nitin Patel, the head of sports science and medicine at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), confirmed that there were no fresh injuries to the cricketer and deemed him fit to play.

According to the Indian Express, Patel wrote in his email that Iyer was available for selection. “Shreyas Iyer was fit and available for selection as per the handover report of the Indian team after the 2nd Test match against England. There are currently no fresh injuries reported as well after his departure from Team India,” Patel wrote in his email.

The national selectors had earlier told Iyer to play in Ranji Trophy in order to get his form back and getting used to the strains of first-class match.

Iyer, a mainstay in India’s ODI batting order, has struggled in the Test format. He did not score any half-century in the first two Tests against England. His string of low scores continued from India’s tour of South Africa. His poor run of form prompted the selectors to drop him. It is also understood that the 29-year-old had complained of back spasms after the second Test.

‘Domestic cricket remains a critical yardstick for selection’: Jay Shah in his letter to cricketers

BCCI secretary Jay Shah in his letter last week raised concerns about players prioritizing IPL over domestic cricket. “There is a recent trend that has started to emerge and is a cause for concern. Some players have begun prioritising the IPL over domestic cricket, a shift that was not anticipated. Domestic cricket has always been the foundation upon which Indian cricket stands, and it has never been undervalued in our vision for the sport,” Shah wrote in the letter.

“Our vision for Indian cricket has been clear from the outset – every cricketer aspiring to play for India must prove themselves in domestic cricket. Performance in domestic cricket remains a critical yardstick for selection and non-participation in domestic cricket will carry severe implications,” he further added in his letter.

Lately, BCCI have been strict towards its centrally-contracted cricketers’ preference of IPL over domestic red-ball cricket. Ishan Kishan, the wicketkeeper batter has taken a break from international cricket citing personal reasons since the South Africa tour.

WATCH: Ryan Sidebottom Interview - Discussing Bazball, Jaisball, IND vs ENG Tests, and more

As a result, he wasn’t considered for selection in the ongoing Test series against England. Kishan hasn’t played any game in the ongoing Ranji Trophy but is reported to be preparing himself for the upcoming IPL 2024.