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NEW DELHI: Veteran India wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha on Thursday said no one can compel a cricketer to participate in domestic cricket if they are not inclined to do so. However, Saha emphasized the importance of domestic cricket as the foundation for players to thrive and succeed in their careers.
Saha’s comments came in response to the exclusion of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from the annual player retainership list for the 2023-24 season.
The BCCI stated in a release that the two cricketers “were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations.”
“That is BCCI’s decision and personal decision of concerned players. Forcefully, you can’t do anything,” the stumper said about Kishan and Iyer’s axe.
These two players were part of the Indian side until very recently, having also featured in the 50-overs World Cup last year. While Kishan was last part of the Test squad during India’s Tour of South Africa in December, Iyer played the first two Tests of the ongoing series against England.
Saha said a cricketer should treat every match with equal importance citing his own example.
“Whenever I am fit I play, even I played club matches, office matches as well. I always treat a match as a match. All matches are equal for me. If every player thinks on those lines, they will only prosper in their career and it will be better for Indian cricket as well,” he said.
“I feel the importance of domestic cricket is always there because if I talk about Sarfaraz Khan, he had scored plenty of runs in the last 4-5 years. Definitely, he has delivered.”
Saha, meanwhile, termed the young wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel’s batting as ‘outstanding’. Jurel scored a gritty 46 on Test debut in the third Test and followed it up with scores of 90 and 39 in the fourth Test at Ranchi, earning himself the player of the match award.
“I have never seen him (Jurel) in domestic cricket, even in Test matches I have seen in him highlights. But his batting is outstanding, he won the last Test for the team,” he said.
Saha also feels the future of Indian cricket is bright because of its bench strength while once again underlining the importance of domestic circuit. “It is always good to see that your reserve bench is ready, whenever somebody is getting chance,” he said.
“Over that, some players are getting opportunity but don’t want to play, which they shouldn’t. Whenever you get a chance to play, you should play whether it is red ball or white ball,” said Saha, who played 40 Tests and scoreed 1,353 runs while affecting 104 dismissals (92 catches and 12 stumpings).
(With inputs from PTI)


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