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Country comes first, says Sourav Ganguly denying Ravindra Jadeja permission to play Ranji final during South Africa ODIs

The final of the Ranji Trophy will commence on March 9 while the India-South Africa ODI series will begin on March 12.

Sourav Ganguly and Ravindra Jadeja
Sourav Ganguly and Ravindra Jadeja. (Photo Source: Twitter)

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has denied Ravindra Jadeja the permission to play in the upcoming Ranji Trophy final for Saurashtra against Bengal. Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) had approached the BCCI to avail the services of the India allrounder. However, the Indian cricket board turned down the request, citing “country first” policy.

Cheteshwar Pujara will play the final for Saurashtra and Wriddhiman Saha will turn out for Bengal but since Jadeja is part of the Indian ODI team, he didn’t get the permission. India will soon start their preparation for the upcoming three-match ODI series against South Africa that gets underway on March 12 while the Ranji final starts on March 9.

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“I spoke to him [Ganguly] and was told that the board can’t allow Jadeja to play Ranji as country comes first,” SCA president Jaydev Shah was quoted as saying by Indian Express.

Change in fixture rules

Distraught over not getting the green light for the availability of Ravindra Jadeja, Shah further said that the BCCI needs to think over its scheduling to make Ranji Trophy popular. He advised that BCCI should not keep any international game during the Ranji final and cited the example of IPL to back his point.

“If BCCI wants people to watch their premier domestic cricket then no international game should be held during Ranji final, henceforth. It’s my suggestion. Will BCCI keep an international match during IPL? No, because it gives money. Ranji Trophy can only be popularised if star players play at least in the finals. Don’t keep any international cricket during finals, have a proper window,” the former Saurashtra captain said.

“I would have loved to see him (Jadeja) play the Ranji Trophy final for us, why only Jadeja, I would have loved to see Mohammad Shami (for Bengal) also,” added Shah.

Meanwhile, Saurashtra will be looking to end their title drought when they play their fourth final in the last eight years. They had made it to the final last year too before losing to Vidarbha in the all-important clash. Saurashtra beat Gujarat to make it to the final. On the other hand, Bengal, who beat Karnataka in the semifinal, are gunning for their first title since 2006-07 season.

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