Board of Control for Cricket in India BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has stated that no ‘A’ tours will be held during the Ranji Trophy season to try and ensure that the quality of cricket in India’s premier domestic competition remains high.
‘A’ tours have helped youngsters in testing themselves in challenging conditions away from home. It has also been a route for experienced players to try and push for selection in the Indian team.
According to Ganguly, though, the Indian cricket board doesn’t want the ‘A’ tours to affect the standards of the Ranji Trophy in any manner. In an interview with TOI, he confirmed:
“As a policy, we have decided that we will not have India 'A' tours during Ranji Trophy season. We don't want to dilute the quality of our premier first-class tournament. We want as many top players as possible to be available during the Ranji Trophy.”
The Ranji Trophy 2022 season is currently underway. Madhya Pradesh are taking on Bengal in the first semi-final, while Mumbai are battling Uttar Pradesh in the second.
“From England tour, we will start playing with players who are likely to play in T20 World Cup” - Ganguly
During the interview, the BCCI boss admitted that it is not ideal to rotate players considering a T20 World Cup is coming up. He, however, asserted that head coach Rahul Dravid is putting a plan in place. Ganguly stated:
“Rahul Dravid (Team India head coach) is looking into it. He has been planning to play a settled set of players at some stage. Probably from the England tour next month, we will start playing with players who are likely to play in the T20 World Cup in October.”
Following a lengthy IPL 2022 season, India have rested Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami for the ongoing T20I series against South Africa. Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer have also been given a break for the T20Is against Ireland in Dublin on June 26 and 28. Hardik Pandya has been named captain for the series.
Meanwhile, Ganguly downplayed the impact of IPL’s ever-growing presence on international cricket. Asked whether a bigger window for the Indian T20 league would affect bilateral tours, he said:
"Bilateral tours will continue. The IPL is an Indian tournament. Bilateral tours are for the rest of the world to generate revenue. Players from other countries need bilateral series.”
While the two upcoming editions of the IPL will continue to have 74 matches, there are reports that the BCCI has plans to expand the tournament even further.