Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli should play domestic cricket - Kirti Azad's advice to Indian superstars

Updated - 29 Feb 2024, 06:54 PM

Kirit Azad, Rohit Sharma, Virat kohli

The BCCI has made it clear with the exclusion of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from the central contracts that players who ignore domestic cricket will be penalized for their approach. Former India cricketer Kirti Azad reckons domestic cricket should be given importance even if you are Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma.

Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer ignored the ongoing Ranji Trophy to practice for the upcoming IPL 2024. Ishan Kishan took his name back from the Test series against South Africa citing personal reasons and mental fatigue.

Shreyas Iyer on the other hand was dropped from the Indian Test squad after poor performance in the first two Tests against England. The BCCI issued a notification to all the players excluding those injured or rehabilitating at the NCA, to play domestic cricket for their state. However, Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan ignored it and kept practicing for IPL. Former India cricketer Kirti Azad has lauded the decision and has urged veteran players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to play domestic cricket whenever they are free.

Rohit Sharma’s last appearance in domestic cricket was in 2018 when he played in the Vijay Hazare Trophy for Mumbai whereas Virat Kohli last played in domestic cricket back in 2012. The two are the most prolific cricketers for India across formats and have a terrific record in international cricket. Virat Kohli is currently with his family as he was recently blessed with a baby boy.

“It (directive) is a very good move. Everybody should be playing Ranji Trophy cricket, but currently, the emphasis is on the IPL. It is good, and it is entertaining but the real cricket is the (five) days’ cricket. Playing in domestic cricket is good, it keeps you in touch. But whenever you are free, even if you’re a Rohit Sharma or a Virat Kohli, you should go back and play domestic cricket for the state. That (state) gave you the opportunity to be a player, get selected and then play for the country,” Kirti Azad told PTI.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli can motivate a lot of players by playing domestic cricket

The two veterans can set an excellent example for players if they go and play domestic cricket at this stage. We all remember the great Sachin Tendulkar who played his last Ranji game for Mumbai right before playing his last Test series against West Indies in 2013.

Rohit and Virat can do the same thing and promote domestic cricket amongst young players by playing the tournaments themselves. Both of them have not played domestic cricket for a long time and the tournament can benefit from their popularity.

Rohit Sharma is currently leading the Indian side in the five-match Test series against England where he has already led the Indian team to an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series. This is India’s 17th consecutive Test series win at home and they are yet to play the fifth and final Test match of the series against England which will be played at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala.


BCCI Central Contracts Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) India National Cricket Team Kirti Azad Rohit Sharma Virat Kohli