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Hardik Pandya agrees to play white-ball domestic cricket, can move reduce high-profile absentees?

Hardik Pandya agrees to play white-ball domestic cricket, can move reduce high-profile absentees?

Don't be surprised if the likes of Ishan Kishan follows suit next season and don the domestic jersey once again.

International players participating in domestic cricket competitions have been a long-debated topic in the Indian cricket circuit, more so in the last one year. From axing Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from the central contracts to making it clear that the players have to play in domestic tournaments to be in contention for an India call-up, BCCI has tried a number of ways to get players to play domestic cricket in the absence of India commitments. It now seems like BCCI’s effort is bearing fruit finally. Jay Shah on Friday said India’s star all-rounder Hardik Pandya has agreed to play white-ball domestic cricket.

The debate and its consequences

Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer have faced the wrath of BCCI for refusing to participate in domestic competitions. After having lost his place in India’s Test squad, Shreyas missed some of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy matches citing back spasms. Ishan on the other hand ignored BCCI’s diktat and refused to play in Ranji. Both were punished by the BCCI when the board omitted them from central contracts. However, those were red ball tournaments, while Hardik Pandya has agreed to play white-ball cricket for his state.

Hardik Pandya’s Grade A contract

Despite having no domestic appearances at all and persistent fitness concerns, star all-around player Hardik Pandya was promoted to a Grade A contract. Jay Shah, the secretary of the BCCI, cleared the air and defended Pandya’s contract retention following much discussion.

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Jay Shah affirmed that Hardik Pandya committed to playing in domestic white-ball competitions like the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy after the apex body had a thorough conversation with him to learn about his position.

Pandya has not been playing the domestic tournaments in white-ball formats at all for the last few years. He last made his appearance in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in the 2016-17 season. He featured for Baroda in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy a season before that, in 2016-17.

What does Pandya agreeing to play domestic cricket mean?

BCCI has tried a number of ways to get cricketers to play domestic cricket, but without much help. With Pandya agreeing to play white-ball domestic formats, it finally seems like the wheel is turning. Don’t be surprised if the likes of Ishan Kishan follows suit next season and don the domestic jersey once again.

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