Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri backs Kishan and Iyer to come back stronger. Photo: Sportzpics for BCCI

Former India coach Ravi Shastri on Wednesday backed the duo of Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan to come back stronger after they were excluded from the BCCI central contracts for ignoring the board’s directive of playing in the Ranji Trophy.

The BCCI Wednesday unveiled its centrally-contracted players for this year. While skipper Rohit Sharma, star batter Virat Kohli, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and premier all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja retained their places in the top bracket, Iyer and Kishan were not considered in any category.

“In the game of cricket, comebacks define the spirit. Chin-up, @ShreyasIyer15 and @ishankishan51! Dig deep, face challenges, and come back even stronger. Your past achievements speak volumes, and I have no doubt you’ll conquer once again,” Shastri tweeted.


The 25-year-old Kishan did not turn up for Jharkhand throughout the team’s campaign in Ranji Trophy despite not being on national duty since leaving from the tour of South Africa in December last, citing personal reasons.

He has instead focussed on preparing for the IPL next month.

Iyer did not make himself available for Mumbai’s Ranji quarterfinal against Baroda after being excluded from the Indian team following the second Test against England.

He, however, has been picked for the Ranji semifinals starting March 2.

Lauding the board, Shastri said, “Big applause to @BCCI and @JayShah for the game-changing move with ‘fast bowling’ contracts. A crucial step in gearing up for Down Under later this year. The emphasis on Test Cricket and Domestic Cricket is a powerful message, setting the right tone for the future of our beloved sport!”


Meanwhile, former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar too praised the BCCI for rewarding players who are willing to put in the hard yards in the Test format.

“Well done to @BCCI for rewarding players who want to play the tough cricket and only for one reasonto face the ‘acid test’ as cricketers,” Manjrekar tweeted.

While announcing the central contracts, the BCCI once again advised all the Indian cricketers to play domestic games when not on national duty.

The exclusion of Iyer and Kishan can be seen as a stern message to young players unwilling to put in the hard yards in first-class cricket, while chasing white-ball glory and lucrative IPL contracts.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Feb 29 2024 | 9:56 AM IST


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