For being tagged the as the cricketing powerhouse mainly on the economic side, BCCI has done very little to increase the popularity of the domestic cricket. In a way Ranji Trophy has been jostling for space amongst other sports and the BCCI’s diktat of not to include New Zealand bound ODI players has only taken the sheen off.
Ranji Trophy has always been the poorer child of a rich parent. More often than not, the Indian stars have shunned away from playing the tournament and thus affecting its image. It is under these circumstances that the BCCI has asked not to pick the ODI players.
The worst hit of all the teams will be Mumbai, who were pinning their hopes on Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma. Mumbai’s opponents Maharashtra will not be complaining, but is a loss for the fans for sure.
While BCCI may justify the act saying that it wanted the players to be fresh for the New Zealand tour, but there will be enough time between Jan. 12 and 19th when the first ODI will be played at Napier.
There have been occasions in the past when some of the legends took pride in representing their state in the domestic cricket. While most of the Boards have made it mandatory for the players to play in domestic cricket when not playing international matches, this step by BCCI is surely a step backwards.
Instead of making the stars play the Ranji Trophy and increase the turn out for the match, the BCCI is only ensuring that the stars are happy and get their wish. Sometimes it is rather baffling to see the players to forget their roots, but it is horrifying to notice that the parent body too does the same.