‘Would like to ask MS Dhoni why I was dropped’, says Manoj Tiwary after announcing retirement | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Bengal cricket star Manoj Tiwary, a day after announcing his retirement from cricket, expressed concerns about the prevalent IPL-centric approach among young cricketers. He emphasised the need for a greater focus on the Ranji Trophy, advocating for a balanced approach to nurture and develop cricketing talent.
Tiwary, who scored 287 runs from 12 ODIs, including a memorable unbeaten knock of 104 against the West Indies in Chennai in 2011, raised questions about the selection process.
Despite his notable performances, he faced a challenging period, being dropped for the next 14 matches under the captaincy of MS Dhoni. Tiwary also featured in three T20Is.
“I would like to ask Dhoni why I was dropped from the playing XI in 2011 after scoring a century? I had the potential to be a hero just like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli but could not be. Today, when I see many people getting more opportunities on TV, I feel sad,” Tiwary said while talking to reporters on the sidelines of his felicitation at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club in Kolkata.
Tiwary’s remarks highlight the challenges faced by players in the rapidly evolving landscape of modern-day cricket, where the T20 format, especially the IPL, has gained significant prominence.
The 38-year-old Tiwary, who served Bengal for about two decades, had recently posted on X that Ranji Trophy should be “scrapped” but did not elaborate on the subject as he was an active BCCI cricketer. He was fined 20 per cent of his match fee for that remark.
He also had a Facebook live in the midst of the match where he said he would come out in the open after taking retirement.
“I can observe that young players have adopted an IPL-centric mindset,” Tiwary said, referring to central contracted players opting out of playing domestic cricket.
“Those who don’t play IPL often go to Dubai or other places whenever they find some free time. However, this trend is diminishing the significance of the prestigious Ranji Trophy.
“Now, expressing any opinion might lead to a ban. I have already been penalised with a 20 percent reduction in my match fee for just one post.”
Ishan Kishan‘s decision to prioritise T20 leagues like the IPL over first-class cricket has led the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to implement a rule requiring players to participate in a minimum number of Ranji Trophy games to be eligible for the IPL auction.
“In hindsight, I feel that the directive issued by the BCCI might not have been given had I not posted it on X. Perhaps my post prompted the BCCI secretary to put the players under pressure now.
“The seriousness they have shown by taking this step in the crucial stage of the Ranji Trophy indicates their concern that many players, especially high-profile ones who have succeeded in the IPL with limited first-class cricket, are not giving enough importance to the Ranji Trophy,” Tiwary said.
“I could have spoken up earlier, but it seems that the BCCI is no longer governed by sportspersons; it’s now run by politicians. I am associated with a political party, but I am also a sportsperson.
“I don’t want to engage in a fight; I simply want the Ranji Trophy to be prioritised, as it is slowly losing its importance.”
‘Essence of IPL has lost’
Tiwary further went on to criticise the approach of young cricketers.
“The new-age cricketers adopt a ‘Bazball’ approach, swinging the bat aggressively from the first ball. Personally, I dislike this approach because it focuses solely on winning or losing.
“However, there is a scope to save a match, especially when facing a potential loss. They are aiming to secure an IPL contract or improve their strike rate to attract attention.
“I won’t blame the players; it’s a situation that has emerged. The essence of IPL seems to have been lost.
“IPL is a massive platform for all of us, but I also request the BCCI president and secretary to increase the significance of the Ranji Trophy.
“Many players have emerged from this tournament. While we celebrate winning the series, it is disheartening that we are unable to clinch ICC trophies, whether it be the WTC or World Cup.
“We feel saddened because India has immense talent, unlike Australia, yet they have won numerous World Cups. The focus should ultimately be on ICC tournaments, with the Ranji Trophy playing an integral role in preparing players for such competitions.”
(With PTI inputs)

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