Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI has reportedly denied permission for Saurashtra all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to play in the Ranji Trophy final starting on March 9 owing to India's international commitments. The upcoming final will be Saurashtra’s fourth Ranji Trophy final in eight years.
Since the all-rounder is part of the Indian ODI team which is slated to play against South Africa from March 12, the BCCI turned down Saurashtra Cricket Association’s request, citing the ‘country first’ policy. However, India players Wriddhiman Saha and Cheteshwar Pujara will be playing for Bengal and Saurashtra respectively in the final.
Sourav Ganguly was requested by Jaydev Shah, the SCA president, to allow Jadeja to play. Speaking to a news daily, Jaydev asserted that domestic cricket will only be popularised if star players are included and urged BCCI to have a proper window between international and domestic cricket.
“If BCCI wants people to watch their premier domestic cricket then no international game should be held during Ranji final, henceforth. It’s my suggestion. Will BCCI keep an international match during IPL? No, because it gives money. Ranji Trophy can only be popularised if star players play at least in the finals. Don’t keep any international cricket during finals, have a proper window,” said Shah.
“I would have loved to see him (Jadeja) play the Ranji Trophy final for us, why only Jadeja, I would have loved to see Mohammad Shami (for Bengal) also,” he added.
Saurashtra entered their second successive Ranji Trophy final with a 92-run win over Gujarat on day five of their semifinal on Wednesday. Saurashtra captain and lead pacer Jaydev Unadkar led from the front with a seven-wicket haul as Gujarat were bowled out for 234 in the final session on day five. Chasing 327, Gujarat had resumed the day at seven for one. They were down and out at 63 for five before captain Parthiv Patel (93) and Chirag Gandhi (96) shared a 158-run stand to raise hopes of an improbable win.