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NEW DELHI: Former India coach Ravi Shastri on Wednesday expressed his support for Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan after they were excluded from the BCCI central contracts for not adhering to the board’s directive to participate in the Ranji Trophy.
Despite the absence of Iyer and Kishan in any category, Shastri believes in their resilience and expects them to bounce back stronger.The BCCI released the list of centrally-contracted players for the year, with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja retaining their positions in the top bracket.
Shastri’s backing signals confidence in the abilities of Iyer and Kishan and suggests that their exclusion from the central contracts could serve as a motivating factor for them to return with enhanced performances in the future.
“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 wrote on X.

Kishan, 25, chose not to participate in Jharkhand’s Ranji Trophy campaign, citing personal reasons. Despite not being on national duty since December, after the tour of South Africa, Kishan did not join the Jharkhand team for the Ranji matches. Instead, he focused on preparations for the upcoming IPL scheduled for next month.
Similarly, Iyer opted out of Mumbai’s Ranji quarter-final against Baroda after being omitted from the Indian team following the second Test against England. Despite not featuring in the quarter-final, Iyer has been selected for the Ranji semifinals, which are set to commence on 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 reason…to face the ‘acid test’ as cricketers,” Manjrekar posted on X.

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.
(With PTI inputs)


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