Ranji Trophy vs. IPL: The Debate Over Domestic Cricket's Importance

Ranji Trophy vs. IPL: The Debate Over Domestic Cricket's Importance

The Indian cricket board's (BCCI) recent decision to withhold central contracts from Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan for skipping the Ranji Trophy has sparked a debate about the relative importance of the domestic tournament and the Indian Premier League (IPL).

While the IPL undoubtedly offers greater financial rewards and media attention, former India opener Devang Gandhi, who served on the senior selection committee until 2020, argues that Ranji Trophy performances remain paramount for Test team selection. He cites examples of Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, and Mohammed Siraj, who all played significant red-ball cricket before earning national call-ups.

However, there have been exceptions, such as Ajinkya Rahane's selection for the World Test Championship final after a strong IPL season. Gandhi suggests that this was due to Rahane's proven track record in England, rather than solely his IPL performances.

Rajasthan Royals star Dhruv Jurel, who made his Test debut recently, also has an impressive first-class average of 50.78. Other recent Test debutants, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, and Akash Deep, have all excelled in the Ranji Trophy.

Sunil Subramaniam, R Ashwin's former coach, believes the IPL is a valuable indicator of a player's temperament on the big stage. However, he acknowledges a problem in the system, with the significant pay disparity between IPL and domestic cricket leading many young players to prioritize the former.

Subramaniam suggests that top players should set an example by playing Ranji Trophy whenever possible, but acknowledges that workload management for pace bowlers is a concern. He believes the BCCI's recent diktat has come too late and that a systemic change is needed, starting with the very top players.

Tags: #RanjiTrophy, #IPL, #IndianCricket, #TestSelection, #DomesticCricket

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