Ravichandran Ashwin thanks first class cricket for his come up to the India National Cricket Team

Updated - 05 Mar 2024, 03:56 PM

Ravichandran Ashwin during his press conference at Dharamshala
Ravichandran Ashwin during his press conference at Dharamshala (Credits: Instagram)

Veteran India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin thanked domestic first-class cricket for enabling him to enter the national Test team. Ashwin made these comments during a recent press conference ahead of the 5th Test match against England. The series concluder will take place at the scenic venue of HPCA stadium in Dharamshala from March 7 onwards.

Ravichandran Ashwin was asked about his views on IPL and domestic white ball cricket opening the path for him to enter the Indian team. Ashwin in his blunt and straightforward attitude, claimed that his success in the international red-ball scene doesn’t have anything to do with white-ball cricket. And that Ranji Trophy paved the way for him.

Ashwin thanks Ranji Trophy

In the pre-match press conference, Ashwin stated that his hard work in the Ranji Trophy was coupled with a few good things and that’s why he can become the Ashwin we know today.

“I don’t think that IPL or white ball cricket which helped my entry in Test cricket. It was more of my first-class cricket and then a lot of other good things that happened along the way.” – Ravichandran Ashwin told reporters at the HPCA stadium.

His words should be a lesson for those players who consider playing Ranji Trophy as degrading. Especially after representing your nation. The likes of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer mainly were snubbing the Ranji Trophy despite being match-fit and not on national duty.

Upon their reluctance, the BCCI threatened that players have no choice but to play in the Ranji Trophy if they want to get selected for the national team. Honorable Secretary Jay Shah had also spoken about the possible consequences around it and the message was delivered when Kishan and Iyer both were snubbed from the annual player retainership.

“Please note that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations. The BCCI has recommended that all athletes give precedence to participating in domestic cricket during periods when they are not representing the national team.” – BCCI’s official press release read. 

If it wasn’t for first-class cricket then team India would have lost the ongoing 5-match Test series against England. Why? Because someone like Sarfaraz Khan wouldn’t have been able to help India win the 3rd Test match. We could have never come across the talents of Dhruv Jurel, Rajat Patidar, and Akash Deep either. That is the importance of Ranji Trophy and that is what exactly Ravichandran Ashwin tried to convey.

Ravichandran Ashwin set to become 6th spinner to play 100 Test matches

Ravichandran Ashwin is well on course to become the 6th spinner in the world to have completed triple digits in terms of Test matches played. He will be joining the likes of Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, and Nathan Lyon on that list.

Moreover, Ashwin will become overall the 14th Indian to appear in 100 Test matches. In the 4th Test, the Chennai-born spinner had registered a match-winning 5-wicket haul and in the 5th Test, he will be aiming for nothing less. The series concludes starts from March 7 onwards.

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