Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were the two notable
Image Source : AP Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were the two notable absentees from the BCCI’s annual contract list

The Indian players got to witness the first major repercussions of not obeying the direct instructions from the BCCI to play domestic cricket as the board removed Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from the annual central contracts list. Iyer, who was dropped from the Test team after the second game against England in Visakhapatnam, didn’t make himself available to play for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy for his side’s final group stage game and then the quarter-finals as he was allegedly recovering from a back spasm. Similarly, Ishan, who returned to competitive cricket in the ongoing DY Patil T20 Cup, too didn’t play a single match in the Ranji Trophy.

The BCCI in its statement while announcing the list of centrally contracted players for the 2023-24 season confirmed that both Iyer and Ishan weren’t considered for the contract in the current round of recommendations while saying in its release, “The BCCI has recommended that all athletes give precedence to participating in domestic cricket during periods when they are not representing the national team.” 

In Kishan’s case, the wicketkeeper batter had withdrawn from South Africa Tests citing a break for personal reasons. Kishan didn’t play South Africa Tests and wasn’t in the squad for T20Is against Afghanistan as well. When head coach Rahul Dravid was asked about Kishan and him not getting picked for England Test, the former Indian skipper had said that the left-hander hadn’t made himself available till then and mentioned that he would have to play some domestic cricket to be in with a chance to get back to the team. 

As per ESPNCricinfo, the Indian team asked Kishan during the England Test series again recently and he hadn’t made himself available till then. However, the selectors who recommended the names to the board for the central contracts were displeased by Kishan training in Baroda alongside Hardik Pandya and not playing domestic cricket as per the report.

Shreyas Iyer, on the other hand, was declared fit by the BCCI medical team. However, MCA sources in the report said last week that Iyer had back spasms. Even though Iyer will return for Mumbai in the semi-final against Tamil Nadu this week, his presence at the pre-training camp for the Kolkata Knight Riders hasn’t gone down well with the selectors.

“The selectors don’t doubt their ability,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying. “But if the NCA is saying you are fit and you are not making yourself available for the Test series, how can the BCCI offer you a contract? The BCCI official mentioned that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan both can get their contract back after playing the number of matches to meet the requirement, if and when selected.

Central contract categories

Grade A+ (INR 7 crore)Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja

Grade A  (INR 5 crore) – R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya

Grade B (INR 3 crore) – Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Yashasvi Jaiswal

Grade C (INR 1 crore) - Rinku Singh, Tilak Varma, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Shivam Dube, Ravi Bishnoi, Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar, Mukesh Kumar, Sanju Samson, Arshdeep Singh, KS Bharat, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Rajat Patidar


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