Several stars rose to stardom after showcasing their explosive batting in India’s biggest cricket carnival in the form of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Besides, grassroots-level cricket and several domestic tournaments, new breed of cricketers have shown promises from time to time. Among them, the name of Ishan Kishan does not need much introduction. Every Indian fan fondly remembers his historic double ton in Bangladesh which speaks volumes of the dirth of talent pool India have. Besides, he has been a vital core in the Mumbai Indians (MI) camp in the franchise cricket world. However, recent antics displayed by the explosive Jharkhand-based batter have sparked debate about whether playing matches in the coveted Ranji Trophy should be made mandatory or not.

Notably, Kishan after having returned from the recent South Africa tour, showed a lack of interest to feature in red-ball cricket for his state side. In fact, the Indian team’s head coach Rahul Dravid had asked him to get some game time in the domestic event but he went missing. Fascinatingly enough, days after he was spotted practicing with the likes of MI’s new skipper Hardik Pandya and his brother Krunal Pandya in Vadodara.

Consequently, this posed a question of whether Ishan Kishan deliberately cited travel and mental fatigue to opt out of playing red-ball cricket while prioritizing franchise-based cricket as he was busy preparing for the upcoming IPL 2024 season. This latest move by him has led the apex cricket governing body to mull over the thought of capping a minimum game time in domestic tournaments like the Ranji Trophy, thereby putting it as a basic parameter to be eligible to go under the IPL auction hammer or feature in the IPL. The mere possible discussion has made it amply clear that the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) is seemingly not happy with young players like Kishan and may come up with new guidelines soon.

“The decision makers in BCCI are well aware that some players don’t want to play any red-ball cricket. If they are out of Indian team, they would at best play a few Mushtaq Ali T20 games and then not report for state team duty during red-ball season,” a senior official of the BCCI said as per OnManorama.

“To rein in such players, the board in all likelihood will make it mandatory to play 3-4 Ranji Trophy games, failing which, they can’t play IPL or even appear in IPL auction if released by their franchise. The state units feel unless the diktat comes from top of BCCI, some of the young stars will treat Ranji Trophy with disdain,” the official added further.

Besides, the BCCI official also shed some light on the star India India all-rounder and the new MI leader. He revealed that Pandya’s body is not in the best condition to deal with the rigorous demands of Test cricket. Therefore, it was valid for him to prioritize a limited overs format and remain available for major International Cricket Council (ICC) events. But other youngsters make excuses in the name of fitness regimes to skip domestic tournaments like the Ranji Trophy. 

“We can understand Hardik Pandya’s case as his body can’t take the rigours of red-ball cricket. He can’t withstand the workload of Test cricket and India needs him fit for ICC events. But some of the other youngsters, whenever you call them, they will cite that they are currently doing physio work. There needs to be a stop somewhere,” he continued.

Also Read: ‘Fit enough to practice but not to play domestic cricket?’ Irfan Pathan takes dig at Ishan Kishan

No discussions have taken place as of now regarding central contracts: Senior BCCI official

Apart from Ishan Kishan’s recent activities, speculations were rife that the Indian board may terminate the Jharkhand batters’ central contract. Notably, the 25-year-old currently earns Rs 1 crore from BCCI’s annual retainership and falls under Grade C. In the same vein, when being asked about the possibility of the board coming hard on Ishan Kishan in the aftermath of ignoring Ranji Trophy 2024, the official revealed that so far there has been no discussion regarding the central contract of Kishan. Moreover, the apex cricket board has instructed Kishan to mark his presence by playing for Jharkhand in their last match of the Ranji Trophy 2024

No discussions have taken place as of now regarding central contracts,” the senior BCCI official stated.

Also Read: Ishan Kishan needs to start playing to be considered for selection: Rahul Dravid

Furthermore, among the possibilities of Team India’s future planning regarding the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024, the official split the beans by saying that the board has likely decided to send players early to New York whose franchise fails to qualify for the IPL playoffs round. The other remaining players who are likely to seal their spot in Men in Blue’s squad will be sent after the conclusion of the IPL 2024. Notably, cricket’s apex governing body, ICC is to host the T20 World Cup shortly after India’s biggest cricket carnival.

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