Faiz Fazal quits domestic T20 format

Fazal, who led Vidarbha to consecutive Ranji Trophy titles in 2017 and 2018, said the decision was taken to hand opportunities to youngsters.


Faiz Fazal played one ODI for India and was part of Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.   -  N. Sudarshan

Vidarbha will be without the services of its seasoned campaigner Faiz Fazal in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2020-21 starting in January.

The senior batsman, who led the team to consecutive Ranji Trophy titles in 2017 and 2018 along with the Irani Cup, has written to the Vidarbha Cricket Association stating that he isn't keen on continuing in T20 cricket at the domestic level.

He will continue to feature in the one-dayers and Ranji Trophy.

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Confirming the development, Fazal told Sportstar that the decision was taken to give opportunity to youngsters. “I thought about it and decided that it is important to step aside from the T20 format. I have never been selfish and I think it is crucial that the youngsters are given more opportunity in the T20 format,” he said.

“I have already written to the VCA asking me to keep me out of the T20 set up. But then, I will continue to play in the longer format and the ODIs as and when they happen,” the 35-year-old said.

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Having played a lone ODI for India, Fazal was part of Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League a few years ago, but for the past few seasons, an IPL contract eluded him.

“I don’t see my future in T20 cricket, so it is better that I focus on the longer formats of the game - which are my forte. And by this, I can concentrate on extending my career,” he said.

With the VCA set to pick the squad for the Mushtaq Ali Trophy in a day or two, the association’s vice-president and chairman of Cricket Development & Advisory Committee (CADC), Prashant Vaidya, said: “Being a senior player, it was his call to quit the T20 format and focus more on the longer version. As an experienced player, he is the best judge of his body and where he stands, so we appreciate his decision.”

Vaidya, who played in four ODIs for India, also believes that in the current scenario, this decision will perhaps give Fazal more chances to get ready for the longer version.

While the BCCI is set to commence the domestic season from January 10 with the T20s, there is still no clarity on the Ranji schedule.

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