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Manoj Tiwary slapped with fine over viral ‘Ranji Trophy should be scrapped’ rant

Youngsters seeking IPL contracts by improving strike rates was understandable, but it has hit the “essence of Ranji”, feels retiring domestic batting stalwart

A day after his retirement from all forms of cricket, former India batter Manoj Tiwary has revealed that he was fined 20% of his Ranji Trophy match fees for hitting out at the way India’s premier domestic competition is losing importance.

File photo of Manoj Tiwary in action during Ranji Trophy match(PTI)

On February 10, the 38-year-old had posted on X that Ranji Trophy should be “scrapped” but did not elaborate as he was an active BCCI cricketer. He also had a Facebook live in the midst of the match, in Thumba, Thiruvananthapuram, where he said he would come out in the open after taking retirement. He was fined 20% of his match fee for that remark.

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Tiwary wrote on X: “Ranji Trophy should be scrapped off from the calendar from the next season onwards. So many things going wrong with the tournament. SO many things need to looked into in order to save this prestigious tournament which has a rich history. It’s losing its charm and importance. Absolutely frustrated.”

The BCCI recently asked centrally contracted players to prove themselves in domestic cricket if they want to be selected for international cricket. This diktat was probably triggered by Ishan Kishan’s refusal to play Ranji Trophy though he is reportedly fit and not on national duty.

“In hindsight, I feel that the directive issued by the BCCI might not have been given had I not posted it on X. Perhaps my post prompted the BCCI secretary to put the players under pressure now,” said Tiwary during his felicitation at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club on Monday.

“The seriousness they have shown by taking this step in the crucial stage of the Ranji Trophy indicates their concern that many players, especially high-profile ones who have succeeded in the IPL with limited first-class cricket, are not giving enough importance to the Ranji Trophy,” Tiwary said.

“I can observe that young players have adopted an IPL-centric mindset,” Tiwary said. “Those who don’t play IPL often go to Dubai or other places whenever they find some free time. However, this trend is diminishing the significance of the prestigious Ranji Trophy. IPL is a massive platform for all of us, but I also request the BCCI president and secretary to increase the significance of the Ranji Trophy.”

Tiwary was particularly concerned with the trend of younger batters not spending enough time at the crease. “They are adopting a Bazball approach, swinging the bat from the first ball. Personally, I dislike this approach because it focuses solely on winning or losing. But what about when there is a scope to save a match?

“These youngsters are aiming to secure an IPL contract by improving their strike rates and attracting attention. I won’t blame the players. It’s a situation that has emerged. The essence of Ranji seems to have been lost.”


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