'Such a big IPL contract...': Ganguly pinched by Ishan, Iyer's Ranji thumbs down | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Sourav Ganguly pinched by Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer's thumbs down to BCCI's Ranji mandate: 'Such a big IPL contract...'

Mar 01, 2024 07:41 AM IST

Former India captain and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is surprised by Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer's decisions to skip Ranji Trophy.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has weighed in on the BCCI's decision to terminate Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer's central contracts after the batting duo failed to adhere to the board's mandate of prioritising Ranji Trophy over the IPL. The mail sent out by BCCI secretary Jay Shah to all players under contract made it mandatory for them to give importance to First-Class cricket, but while Kishan used this time to train with Hardik Pandya, Iyer decided to not feature for Mumbai owing to a 'back spasm', claims which were later denied by an NCA physio.

Sourav Ganguly is not impressed with what Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan have done. (PTI-Getty)
Sourav Ganguly is not impressed with what Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan have done. (PTI-Getty)

Ganguly, the former BCCI president, expressed disappointment over Kishan and Iyer's reluctance towards playing Ranji Trophy, saying their decision took him by surprise. Ganguly, who has always been vocal about the importance of domestic cricket, reasserted his point that no matter how big a player becomes, paying attention to First-Class cricket and more importantly Ranji, should remain at the top of the agenda considering how it remains the 'basic' of Indian cricket.

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"I think the BCCI wants them to play first class cricket. I am surprised why Shreyas Iyer has not played Ranji Trophy. It is a premier tournament and you are supposed to play. So, it is a decision by the BCCI and what they have thought right they have done. Every contracted cricketer must play first class cricket because that is the basic premise of cricket in this country," Ganguly told RevSportz.

Ganguly expected more from Kishan, Iyer

Kishan returned to competitive cricket for the first time in three months when he turned up at the DY Patil Tournament, while Iyer, just two days ago, made himself available for Mumbai's Ranji semifinal. But as it turns out, it was all a bit too late.

The BCCI by then had already made up its mind, deciding to crack the whip on Kishan and Iyer, who were gearing up to play the IPL for Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively. To see Kishan and Iyer's fall from grace has pinched Ganguly, who like many others, can't make sense of it.

"You are supposed to play first class cricket. Once you are a contracted player, you are expected to play the Premier tournament. Shreyas Iyer is playing the semi-final for Mumbai in a couple of days' time. Yes, they are young people and Ishan has surprised me," he added.

"He was part of the Indian team in all formats. Such a big contract in IPL. I don't know why he has done that. You must play especially when you are as gifted as Ishan Kishan. When you are playing for India in all formats, you must play. I was surprised by his decision not to.”

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