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BCCI unhappy with players' Ranji Trophy snub, imposes ultimatum for participation

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has reportedly expressed its displeasure with players prioritizing Indian Premier League (IPL 2024) preparation over participation in the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2023-24.

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In a significant development, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), in conjunction with national selectors, has issued a directive to players not part of the India squad for the England series. These players are now mandated to represent their respective state teams in the upcoming round of Ranji Trophy matches scheduled to commence on February 16. The decision comes in the wake of several players, including Ishan Kishan, opting to skip Ranji Trophy matches in favor of IPL preparation.

Ishan Kishan withdrew from the South Africa tour, citing mental health concerns, and also skipped the T20I series against Afghanistan. Additionally, he was not selected for the Test series against England. India's coach, Rahul Dravid, emphasized the necessity for Ishan Kishan to play some cricket before making a return to the national squad. Despite this advice, the left-handed batsman, expected to represent Jharkhand in the Ranji Trophy, chose to practice with the Pandya brothers in Baroda.

The BCCI's directive extends beyond Ishan Kishan and encompasses players like Krunal Pandya and Deepak Chahar, who are not part of India's Test cricket plans. Even Shreyas Iyer dropped from the final three Tests against England, is required to adhere to the mandate and participate in the Ranji matches for their respective state teams. The BCCI emphasized that players cannot prioritize either the IPL or international cricket over domestic commitments.

A BCCI source stated, 'Players cannot simply prioritize international cricket or the IPL. They must make themselves available for domestic cricket and honor their commitments to their respective state teams,' as quoted by CricBuzz. Notably, players such as Hardik Pandya, awaiting clearance from the National Cricket Academy (NCA), and Virat Kohli, absent due to personal reasons, are exempt from the mandate.

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