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In pictures: Understanding the impact of BCCI central contract exclusion on Indian cricketers

'The BCCI has recommended that all athletes give precedence to participating in domestic cricket during periods when they are not representing the national team,' secretary Jay Shah stated in a media release

Our Web Desk Published 29.02.24, 03:04 PM
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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made the decision to drop Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from the annual players’ contracts for the 2023-24 season. The omission from the central contract is particularly consequential for both Shreyas and Ishan, given the imminent T20 World Cup scheduled in three months’ time. It is widely perceived that the chances of the two being selected for the event in the US and the Caribbean are slim, potentially affecting their immediate future with the national team.

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Even after being denied central contracts, players like Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer still have the opportunity to represent India. Selection for the Indian team hinges on fitness and current form, meaning even those not centrally contracted can be chosen. For example, New Zealand pacer Trent Boult opted out of a central contract last year but continued to play for the Blackcaps during the World Cup and other events.

However, there's a possibility that even if Shreyas and Ishan return to the team later this year and meet the pro-rata criteria (minimum of 3 Tests or 8 ODIs or 10 T20Is within the contract cycle), they might not be considered for a contract renewal. Instead, they would receive only the match fee based on the format.

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Apart from Shreyas and Ishan, notable players who have lost their contracts include Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Umesh Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal, all of whom have fallen out of favour with the selectors.

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Centrally-contracted players have access to BCCI facilities, including the esteemed National Cricket Academy, at their convenience. This proves invaluable when a cricketer is nursing an injury, out of the national team, or simply aiming to refine their game or fitness. Conversely, those outside the elite circle must coordinate with their respective state units to utilise NCA facilities.

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Contracted players also benefit from comprehensive insurance coverage. In case of missing the IPL due to injuries sustained while representing India, similar to Mohammed Shami's situation post his remarkable performance in the 50-over World Cup, they will receive compensation for any financial losses incurred. Additionally, the board will cover all medical expenses.

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The cricketers excluded from the BCCI central contract list will still remain integral members of their respective Indian Premier League franchises.

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