Ex-Cricketer Manoj Tiwary Questions MS Dhoni's Decisions, Compares Potential To Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli

Manoj Tiwary, who recently hung up his boots, questioned MS Dhoni as to why he was dropped when in form, believing himself to have potential akin to Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

(Photo: File)
Manoj Tiwary competing in domestic cricket (Photo: File)

A day after his retirement from cricket, Bengal star Manoj Tiwary raised concerns over the IPL-centric approach of young cricketers and strongly advocated for greater emphasis on Ranji Trophy.

The 38-year-old Tiwary, who served Bengal for about two decades and represented India in 12 ODIs and three T20Is, 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 reluctance to play first-class cricket and focus only on the IPL forced the BCCI to make a minimum number of Ranji Trophy games mandatory for players in order to be eligible for the cash-rich league’s lucrative auction pool.

"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 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 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."

'Want to ask Dhoni why I was dropped'

Tiwary was talking to reporters on the sidelines of his felicitation at the Calcutta Sports Journalists' Club.

Tiwary made 287 runs from 12 ODIs including a knock of 104 not out against the West Indies in Chennai in 2011 but only to be dropped for the next 14 matches under MS Dhoni.

"I would like to ask Dhoni why was I 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."