‘Youngsters will have to prove their mettle in domestic cricket for Team India selection’

Young cricketers from the country, who want to make it to the Indian national team, will have to go through the grinds of domestic cricket and prove their mettle there, rather than looking for ‘short-cuts’, BCCI sources said.

The new era of Indian cricket, under T20I captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid, began on a positive note when the ‘Men in Blue’ beat New Zealand in the first T20I of the three-match series in Jaipur. The win also ended India’s seven-match losing streak against the Kiwis across formats.

With his passion for the sport and sheer hard work, Dravid took the Indian cricket team to new heights. And, the fans of Indian cricket are hopeful that the batting great, as a coach of the senior side, will also bring fruitful results, like he did during his tenure as NCA chief.

And the process has started. IANS has learnt that the Indian cricket board, coach and selectors are on the same page and have given a clear instruction to all the young players, participating in IPL, that they will have to perform in domestic cricket as well if they want to get selected in the senior national team.

“From now onwards, there will be no direct entry (to Indian cricket team) from the IPL. Youngsters need to give importance to domestic cricket as well and the message has been clearly conveyed to them by the stakeholders. It is not like an IPL performer will be picked for the national squad directly, their domestic records will also be checked before the selection. There will be no short cut now, they’ll need to go through a proper channel,” sources told IANS.

Notably, several former cricketers had earlier criticised the BCCI, saying that the board isn’t much concerned about domestic cricket and rather focusing on its multi-million-dollar baby, the Indian Premier League (IPL), all the time.

Even the few youngsters are preferring playing in IPL instead of domestic cricket. There are several players, who after getting hefty deals in the lucrative league, shifted their focus entirely from domestic cricket to IPL. However, the new instructions would give domestic cricket a much-needed boost.