The former India pacer lashed out at Hardik Pandya over the player’s absence from domestic cricket.

The former India pacer lashed out at Hardik Pandya over the player’s absence from domestic cricket.

Former India pacer Praveen Kumar lashed out at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), demanding equality in rules for all the players. While announcing the central contracts in February, the country’s apex cricket board made it clear that the players who are fit and not on national duty need to be available for their respective domestic teams. Several speculations suggested that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were axed from the player retention list of BCCI as they were unavailable for their respective domestic teams despite being away from India matches.

Iyer did play for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy semi-final and final matches but both the games took place only after his ouster from the BCCI contract list. On the other hand, Kishan failed to appear in any of the games for Jharkhand in the tournament.

Another player who came under the scrutiny of several critics was Hardik Pandya. The premium all-rounder was retained in the ‘A’ category of the central contracts but many questioned his availability in domestic cricket when he is off national duty.

“Hardik Pandya chaand se thodi utar ke aaya hai? Khelna padega isko bhi. Kyun iske liye alag niyam hai? Isko bhi board ko dhamkana chahiye. (Has Hardik Pandya descended from the moon? He has to play too. Why are there different rules for him? The BCCI should threaten him),” said Kumar on Shubhankar Mishra’s YouTube channel.

Hardik has been out of the international circuit ever since he was ruled out of the Cricket World Cup 2023 due to an ankle injury. He recovered recently and played in the DY Patil T20 Cup in lead-up to the Indian Premier League 2024.

“Why would you play just the domestic T20 tournament? Play all three formats. Or have you played 60-70 Test matches that you will just play T20. The country needs you. If you don’t want to play Test cricket, give it in writing,” said Kumar.

“Maybe Pandya has been informed that he would not be picked for Tests. I don’t have any clear information,” he added.

Hardik is set to lead Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024. He will be replacing Rohit Sharma in the role.

In November last year, Pandya moved back from Gujarat Titans (GT) to his former franchise as part of a trade between both franchises.

The star all-rounder spent two momentous years with GT, spearheading their campaign in the cash-rich league with aplomb. In GT’s debut season in 2022, Hardik got them off to a fairytale start, with the team lifting the coveted trophy.

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