BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly has denied permission to all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to play the Ranji Trophy final for Saurashtra scheduled on March 9. Saurashtra will be playing their fourth Ranji Trophy final in the last 8 years against Bengal and star all-rounder Jadeja would have boosted his home side’s chances of winning the title.
Notably, Ganguly had denied the permission citing India’s international commitments. India is supposed to play a 3-ODI series against South Africa scheduled from March 12 and Jadeja is likely to be a part of the ODI team.
While turning down the request, he reportedly told Saurashtra Cricket Association’s president Jaydev Shah that BCCI cannot allow Jadeja to play Ranji Trophy as the country comes first. The latter had reportedly suggested the board not to schedule international matches during such an important domestic fixture. Shah has also said that the Ranji Trophy can be only made popular and people will see the game if star players play at least the final.
Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara will be available for the Saurashtra side for the game, whereas his India teammate Wriddhiman Saha will be in the opposition ranks vying for a first title for Bengal in 13 years.
Interestingly, Saurashtra entered their second successive Ranji Trophy final with a 92-run win over Gujarat on day five of their semifinal, on Wednesday. Saurashtra captain and lead pacer Jaydev Unadkar led from the front with a seven-wicket haul as Gujarat were bowled out for 234 in the final session on day five.
Unadkat also broke a 21-year-old record for most wickets by a fast bowler in a single Ranji Trophy season. He finished the semifinal with a total of 65 wickets. The record earlier belonged to Karnataka’s Dodda Ganesh for the 1998-99 season.