Indian cricketers absolutely fine playing IPL cricket, focusing on domestic cricket, says Ravi Shastri

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Wellington– Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes that Indian cricketers are ‘absolutely fine’ playing IPL and domestic cricket in the country while adding that there’s already ‘enough opportunity’ in the existing system for the players to shine.

In the aftermath of India’s ten-wicket thrashing at the hands of England in the semifinals of the T20 World Cup in Adelaide Oval, the BCCI’s decision to bar active cricketers from participating in overseas leagues has been a topic of discussion.

Though England have never played a match at the venue in the course of the tournament, four of their squad members — leg-spinner Adil Rashid, opener Alex Hales, fast-bowling all-rounder Chris Jordan and batter Phil Salt — had the experience of playing a large number of matches at Adelaide Oval, thanks to their stints with Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League (BBL).

Hales, a regular in playing the BBL, went to bag the Player of the Match award in the semifinal win over India with an unbeaten 86 and was well-supported by captain Jos Buttler, who was 80 not out and had two previous stints of playing in the BBL.

“There’s enough domestic cricket for all these players to get absorbed in the system and get an opportunity. Plus you get these India A tours, you get a lot of these other tours where at one given time you might have two Indian teams playing in the future.”

“Where the opportunity will come for the other lot to go somewhere else whilst India is in another country to go play and see what they can do. So I think there’s no need. They’re absolutely fine playing IPL cricket and focusing on domestic cricket. We need them to play domestic cricket in India as well,” said Shastri in a virtual press conference organised by Prime Video ahead of the first T20I between India and New Zealand at Wellington.

Former India left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan concurred with Shastri’s thoughts and felt that he doesn’t see any reason for the current cricketers to play in a particular T20 league.

“Well I feel there are a lot of processes in place. It’s not about playing only franchise cricket, it’s about going to different countries to learn things. I think that is something which is important and you’ve seen with the BCCI with their shadow tours.”

“I think that process is well in place. I don’t see any other reason right now for players to go and play in a particular tournament. I think what you have domestically right now is also a robust structure. So why depend on others?”

Zaheer, currently serving as the global head of cricket development for the three franchises under the Mumbai Indians umbrella, signed off by saying that people in India need to focus on cricket in the country rather than seeing outside.

“I think we have more than enough means for producing good players and you look at our band strength as well. I think that’s a classic example of seeing things. You can virtually play three line-ups and they will be able to compete at any level. So I think we should focus on that, focus on our country rather than looking outside.” (IANS)

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