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‘You’re supposed to play first-class cricket’ – Sourav Ganguly ‘surprised’ at Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer reportedly not playing Ranji Trophy

Sourav Ganguly on Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Former Indian captain and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly expressed “surprise” at Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan skipping the Ranji Trophy.

The BCCI annual player retainership contracts for the senior India men’s team for 2023/24 did not include Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan to the surprise of many.

In an interview with RevSportz, Sourav Ganguly explained the incident: “I think the BCCI wants them to play first-class cricket. I am surprised that Shreyas Iyer hasn’t played Ranji Trophy. It is the premier tournament. You are supposed to play. It is a decision by the BCCI: what they have thought right, they have done. Players must play first-class cricket. That’s the basis of cricket in this country.”

Ganguly did not mince his words while speaking about Kishan’s decision to miss Ranji Trophy matches for Jharkhand despite being asked to:  “That’s wrong. You’re supposed to play first-class cricket. It’s the premier tournament of the country. You’re a contracted player, and once you are a contracted player, you are expected to play.

“Shreyas Iyer is playing the [Ranji Trophy] semi-final [for Mumbai against Tamil Nadu],” added Ganguly. “[But] Ishan Kishan has surprised me. He was part of the India team in all formats: one-day cricket, Test cricket, 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.”

Ganguly reminded the importance of the Ranji Trophy during his career (he played for India between 1991/92 and 2008): “It was the main tournament. It was on the basis of Ranji Trophy [that] you played for India. Nobody could even think of not playing Ranji Trophy.”

He defended the BCCI’s decision: “As the parent body in this country, they have taken this stance, and rightfully so. When you’re contracted, you have to abide by the rules.”

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