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‘Even Virat And Rohit Should Play Domestic Cricket’ Ex-Indian Star On Duo

Former India wicket-keeper Kirti Azad has voiced his support for the recent directive from the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), suggesting that even star players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma should participate in domestic cricket.

Edited By : Shashwat Nishant | Updated: Feb 29, 2024 18:16 IST
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Rohit Virat

Former India wicket-keeper Kirti Azad has voiced his support for the recent directive from the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), suggesting that even star players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma should participate in domestic cricket.

The BCCI’s decision to exclude Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from central contracts came after they failed to represent their respective state teams in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season. Iyer held a Grade B contract last season, while Kishan was listed in Grade C.

Azad, speaking to PTI, endorsed the BCCI’s directive, proposing that even established players such as Kohli and Rohit should engage in domestic cricket. Kohli has participated in just one Ranji game since his Test debut in 2021, while Rohit’s last appearance in Ranji cricket was back in 2015.

“It (directive) is a very good move. Everybody should be playing Ranji Trophy cricket, but currently the emphasis is on the IPL. It is good, it is entertaining but the real cricket is the (five) days’ cricket. Playing in domestic cricket is good, it keeps you in touch. But whenever you are free, even if you’re a Rohit Sharma or a Virat Kohli, you should go back and play domestic cricket for the state,” said Azad.

“That (state) gave you the opportunity to be a player, get selected and then play for the country. Just to penalise the two is not correct, I think everybody should be penalised. Everybody should be seen with the same mirror,” Azad added.

Importance of Domestic Cricket

Highlighting the importance of representing one’s state team, Azad reminisced about legends like Sunil Gavaskar and Bishan Singh Bedi, who played domestic cricket alongside younger players like himself and Ravi Shastri during their careers. He emphasized that the sense of pride associated with representing one’s state seems to be lacking among today’s youngsters.

“Back in the days when we were starting our careers, players like Bishan Singh Bedi, Madan Lal, Surinder Amarnath, Mohinder Amarnath, Chetan Chauhan, Sunil Gavaskar, Sandeep Patil, Karsan Ghavri played alongside youngsters like me and Ravi Shastri. All these senior Test team players would play for their sides, would play for the pride of their state which seems missing in the youngsters nowadays,” said Azad.

Azad, who played 142 first-class matches in his career, accumulating 6,634 runs at an average of 39.48, expressed his sentiments while discussing the importance of domestic cricket.

While Kohli’s absence from India’s Test series against England is due to personal reasons, Rohit is set to lead the team in the fifth and final match of the series at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on March 7.

Also Read: Former Indian Great Defends BCCI’s Decision On Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer

First published on: Feb 29, 2024 06:16 PM IST

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