BCCI likely to make playing 3-4 Ranji Trophy matches necessary to feature in IPL

The dominion of cricket in India might soon witness a significant policy shift, one that could alter the trajectory of domestic and franchise cricket co-existing in the country. In what is developing as a noteworthy move by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), there is a buzz that the cricketing authority is on the cusp of making it compulsory for players to partake in at least 3-4 matches of the Ranji Trophy in order to be eligible for the high-profile Indian Premier League (IPL).

Emerging from the discussions and deliberations is the scenario involving Ishan Kishan, the dynamic young cricketer who found himself out of the Indian squad yet absent from his participation in the country’s premier red-ball cricket competition. According to reports from the Press Trust of India (PTI), Kishan has been directed to join his state team, Jharkhand, for their concluding group stage game of the ongoing Ranji Trophy against Rajasthan scheduled on February 16.

The circulatory system of Indian cricket is abuzz with the anticipation of a firm policy implementation that prohibits players from conducting their careers in a manner where playing from “IPL to IPL” becomes routine practice. “The decision-makers in BCCI are well aware that some players don’t want to play any red-ball cricket,” revealed a senior BCCI official to PTI, choosing to remain unnamed. The official elucidated that several cricket players, once sidelined from the national team, choose to play a few games in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament, only to shirk their state team duties when the red-ball season rolls in.

This impending policy—if brought into effect—promises to bring marked changes, including disqualifying players from even the possibility of entering the IPL auction if they happen to be discharged by their current franchise. “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 official further added.

This move showcases a renewed effort to bolster the reverence for first-class cricket in India, which has long been struggling to attract big names consistently, partly due to the financial lure and global allure of the IPL. The proposed policy underscores a conviction that unless the directive emanates from the top echelons of BCCI, the emerging breed of cricket stars might continue to overlook the significance of the Ranji Trophy.

The balance between the glitzy, fast-paced world of IPL and the tradition-steeped, gritty realm of Ranji Trophy presents an ongoing challenge for cricket administration in India. As the BCCI grapples with this equilibrium, their actions can potentially reaffirm the importance of the domestic circuit, where the skills are honed and the foundations of the national team are laid.

Players, agents, and state associations now wait with bated breath as deliberations within BCCI’s corridors of power culminate. Will this be a watershed moment signaling a revival of the Ranji Trophy’s standing in Indian cricket, or just another policy for the archives? The verdict from the guardians of cricket in India is still awaited, but the winds of change are certainly rustling through the willows and the leathers of India’s cricketing landscape.

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