Taking Ranji for granted due to IPL: BCCI's Ishan-Iyer 'discipline' hailed | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Taking First-class cricket for granted because of IPL: BCCI hailed for 'disciplining' Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer

Mar 01, 2024 03:14 PM IST

Former India World Cup winner Madan Lal has backed BCCI's decision of taking action against those not playing attention to domestic cricket.

Even though the Indian cricketing fraternity stands divided over the BCCI's decision to terminate Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer's contracts for not following the board's guidelines, former India World Cup winning all-rounder Madan Lal has backed the polarising move. With Kishan and Iyer no longer in Team India's scheme of things as of now, Lal, like BCCI, highlighted the importance of First-Class cricket.

Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan will have to make an arduous comeback. (Getty)
Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan will have to make an arduous comeback. (Getty)

Kishan and Iyer, like the several other contractually-bound players were asked to give importance to Ranji Trophy in a letter addressed by the board secretary Jay Shah. But despite repeated warnings, Iyer and Kishan did not pay attention and missed turning up for their state team – Mumbai and Jharkhand – respectively, eventually leaving the board with no other option than to release them from their Grade contracts. Lal, the former selector, completely sides with the BCCI's decision to punish Kishan and Iyer, and points out that playing domestic cricket should be made compulsory for those prioritising IPL over and above anything else.

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Also Read: Wriddhiman Saha reacts to BCCI's Ishan Kishan-Shreyas Iyer move

"If the BCCI told them to play first-class cricket, they should have gone and played. No one is bigger than the game. The BCCI should be given the credit as they are making it mandatory to play first-class cricket. Most of the players nowadays are taking First-class cricket for granted because of the IPL. Definitely, the BCCI made a rule that every player should go and play First-class cricket. So if you don't follow the rules, then they have to take some action and set an example for others," Lal told Times of India.

Madan Lal sets the record straight

Although Kishan and Iyer have met the same fate, their cases were different. Ishan was released from India's squad during the tour of South Africa because he wanted a break, but he instead went to Dubai to party and was seen training with Hardik Pandya, when he was expected to play for Jharkhand. Iyer, meanwhile, was in an even unique spot. He complained of a back spasm which as per an NCA official, wasn't severe enough to be called an injury. This ticked off the BCCI and they were forced to take the termination route.

Weighing in on the same, Lal mentioned that if players are fit, it's a no-brainer for them to play domestic cricket. With the amount of cricket that is played, today's star players no longer use an available window to go back and play Ranji, or Duleep Trophy like the many before them. However, Lal is certain about his priorities, backing the BCCI's way of disciplining

"They have to play (first-class cricket) if they are fit. The main thing is fitness. If they are fit, then they can play the first-class season. But a good season in IPL can always be beneficial, and there is no doubt about their class. They have done so well here and there. But it is the BCCI making sure that the boys are disciplined," he added.

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