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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

BCCI wields a strong hand on contracts, drops Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan for 2023-24 season

The BCCI has recommended that all athletes give precedence to participating in domestic cricket during periods when they are not representing the national team

Indranil Majumdar Calcutta Published 29.02.24, 10:53 AM
Shreyas Iyer and (right) Ishan Kishan have been dropped from BCCI’s central contracts.

Shreyas Iyer and (right) Ishan Kishan have been dropped from BCCI’s central contracts. PTI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday wielded the axe by dropping Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from the annual players’ contracts for the 2023-24 season.

The message sent out by the national selectors is loud and clear: play domestic cricket or face the consequences.

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“Please note that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah stated in a media 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.”

The Telegraph had first reported on February 14 that Kishan’s contract was on the line for refusing to pay heed to the BCCI’s diktat.

Iyer had a Grade B contract while Kishan was part of the Grade C list in the annual player retainership for 2022-23.

The top tier of the central contracts remains unchanged with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja in the A-plus category.

KL Rahul, Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj have been elevated to the Grade A category while Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya retain their places.

Rishabh Pant, who has been in rehab following a road accident, finds himself demoted to Grade B along with Axar Patel. Suryakumar Yadav retains his place in this category with Yashasvi Jaiswal being the new inclusion.

Iyer has paid the price for not turning out in the Ranji Trophy quarter final after being dropped from the Test squad recently. He had fulfilled the minimum criteria set by the Board for qualification having played four Tests, 12 ODIs and two T20Is during the period.

He complained of back pain though the medical unit at the National Cricket Academy had declared him fit. Iyer’s presence at the KKR pre-season camp in Mumbai is also learnt to have infuriated the selectors.

Kishan’s case is more curious. He repeatedly ignored instructions since asking for a break during the Test series in South Africa. The Board was kept in the dark right through as his state association failed to establish contact with Kishan. However, he had been training with his Mumbai Indians captain Pandya in Vadodara.

The Board’s drastic step is expected to serve as a warning for the players. Sources told The Telegraph that both Iyer and Kishan are also likely to be sidelined from the national team for some time. Even a superlative performance in the IPL would be tough to bring them into the reckoning for the T20 World Cup in June.

The BCCI said all cricketers who play a minimum of three Tests or eight ODIs or 10 T20Is “will automatically be included in Grade C on a pro-rata basis”. “For instance, Dhruv Jurel and Sarfaraz Khan, having played two Test matches so far, will be inducted into Grade C if they participate in the Dharamsala Test.”

In an enterprising move, the Ajit Agarkar-led selection panel has recommended fast-bowling contracts for Akash Deep, who made his debut in the fourth Test in Ranchi, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Umran Malik, Yash Dayal and V. Kaverappa.

The Board did not mention the salary structure, but it is likely to be increased from the
existing Rs 7 crore (A-plus), Rs 5 crore (A), Rs 3 crore (B) and Rs 1 crore (C).

Category of Players

Grade A+

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja

Grade A

Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya

Grade B

Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Yashasvi Jaiswal

Grade C

Rinku Singh, Tilak Varma, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Shivam Dube, Ravi Bishnoi, JiteshSharma, Washington Sundar, Mukesh Kumar, Sanju Samson, Arshdeep Singh, KS Bharat, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Rajat Patidar

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