Robin Bist leaves Rajasthan, joins Himachal Pradesh
Disillusioned by a supposed lack of support while playing for Rajasthan, Robin Bist has moved to Himachal Pradesh for the upcoming domestic season. He has signed a two-year deal with the northern association, which is headed by BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur.
With the Rajasthan Cricket Association having been suspended by the BCCI in May last year, the players turning out for the association were in danger of missing out on the 2014-15 season. Following court intervention, they played as Team Rajasthan under the BCCI banner. It left very little time for the team to prepare and two-time Ranji champions barely impressed across formats.
"Following the BCCI suspension, it was becoming very difficult to remain focussed on the game. I tried hard to be loyal with Rajasthan, who had given me so many opportunities all through the career, but with time running out and no signs of improvement, I thought it was best to move away," Bist told ESPNcricinfo.
Bist admitted that playing for a suspended team he felt the lack of support when it came to "realising the dream" of playing for India. "You need that push in all aspects, whether you are playing well or not. But when you are playing for a suspended association, nobody tends to push your case. After having played for India A, I hope to make a stronger case with a stronger performance which cannot be ignored."
Bist becomes the third player to snap ties with Rajasthan ever since the association's suspension for having elected Lalit Modi - who is expelled for life from the BCCI - as president. While fast bowler Rituraj Singh had moved to Jharkhand, offspinner Ramesh Powar had joined Gujarat to ensure better opportunities.
Bist, a middle-order batsman, played for India A during their tour to the West Indies in 2012 following a breakaway 2011-12 season.
"Even last year, Himachal Pradesh had approached me but I declined," he said. "But when Thakur sir called this year, I gave it a serious thought decided to accept it. It's a good team that is doing well. Since players like Paras [Dogra] and Rishi [Dhawan] play in Delhi [in the IPL] along with me, I know many players and am looking forward to justifying the faith Himachal has shown in me."
Himachal Pradesh missed out on being promoted from the lowest rung of the Ranji Trophy last season. They are placed in Group C along with Jharkhand, Saurashtra, Hyderabad, Kerala, Tripura, Services, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo