London: Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes that players opting not to participate in the Ranji Trophy should not be criticised for their "individual preferences".
He said that it is important for the cricketers to safeguard themselves keeping in sight the packed cricketing calendar.
The 37-year-old further opined that it is important to make domestic circuit less challenging, adding that one should not be too critical of the T20 cricket.
"It is important to safeguard players. We have to make the domestic circuit slightly less challenging [in terms of the itinerary] for the individual. Moreover, it is important to be not too critical of T20 cricket and also individual preferences. Individual preferences should not be criticised," ESPNcricinfo quoted Dhoni, as saying.
The comment comes in the backdrop of a number of players skipping the Ranji Trophy season despite not playing for the national side in international matches. Indian opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan was dropped from Indian Test for their England tour but he opted to give Ranji Trophy a miss, this season.
Moreover, Indian wicket-keeper batsman Ambati Rayudu recently took retirement from the first-class cricket to focus better on limited-overs cricket.
Dhoni made a comeback in the Indian T20I team for their upcoming three-match series against New Zealand after being dropped from India's limited-over squad against West Indies and Australia....