‘For India’s sake…’: Shastri’s hard-hitting message to BCCI, IPL franchises

After an enthralling Border-Gavaskar Trophy, both India and Australia will once again meet in the finals of the much-anticipated World Test Championship (WTC), which will be played at The Oval from June 7. Despite losing the series 2-1, Australia booked the final berth after trumping India by nine wickets in Indore. (Follow: India vs Australia, 2nd ODI Live Score)

Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri and Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri and Rohit Sharma

India, on the other hand, secured the qualification after Sri Lanka failed to defeat New Zealand in the first Test played at Christchurch. Sri Lanka would have sealed the finale ticket had they won the two-match Test series 2-0, but with New Zealand winning the first contest, the second match, which is currently underway in Wellington became inconsequential.

Both India and Australia are currently engaged in a three-match ODI series, following which stars of both the sides will be participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which starts from March 31.

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With a rigorous schedule in place ahead of the WTC finale, former India coach Ravi Shastri made an interesting suggestion regarding the players who will be flying to England for the championships.

Shastri feels BCCI should make it clear with the respective franchises to not overwork the WTC-bound players. “Even during the IPL the board has to tell the franchise, listen we need him, India needs him, so for India’s sake, if he doesn’t play those games it will be good,” Shastri told The Indian Express on the sidelines of the Legends League Cricket (LLC) in Doha.

India, who finished runners-up in the previous edition of the Test Championship, will hope to clinch the silverware this time around. However, the team will certainly miss the services of star wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, who is recovering from his horrific car crash.

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Apart from him, Jasprit Bumrah’s participation also looks bleak at the moment and middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer could be the latest addition in the list.

Iyer complained of back pain during the final India vs Australia Test in Ahmedabad, which ended in a draw. He was immediately sent for medical scans and didn’t walk out to bat, and was subsequently removed from the ODI squad. Going by reports the results of the scans don’t look very encouraging and Iyer may have to sit out due to it.

Shastri also stressed on the workload factor. He said: “The volume of cricket has increased. Rest period is getting decreased, this is where establishment and players have to sit across the table. They need to be told that you need that much break and give them so much game to play.”

The former India cricketer and coach also noted that players used to play for at least eight to ten years with no difficulty during his playing days.


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