Shreyas Iyer contract saga: Star batter and Ishan Kishan lose BCCI central contracts

Shreyas Iyer contract drama: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the list of centrally contracted players for the 2023-24 season. The list has been expanded from 26 to 30 players this time around but the notable absence of Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan has sought the attention of everyone. Both players recently made the headlines for not making themselves available to play domestic cricket despite being fit.

However, Iyer was one of the key performers for India in the World Cup last year scoring 530 runs in 11 matches at an average of 66.25. Shreyas Iyer contract was in Grade B last year.

Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan was a part of the Grade C contract last year and also featured in two ODIs and three T20Is in the ongoing cycle. He was part of the team’s other squads right through but returned from a South Africa tour midway seeking a personal break. Since then, he didn’t feature in any competitive cricket but at the same time was spotted training with his IPL captain Hardik Pandya in Baroda.

BCCI confirmed in a release about Shreyas Iyer contract and Kishan that the two said players were not considered and also reiterated its earlier stance that the players cannot ignore domestic cricket. “Please note that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations. 

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Shreyas Iyer contract: What the BCCI said

Shreyas Iyer contract
Photo by Icon Sport

“The BCCI has recommended that all athletes give precedence to participating in domestic cricket during periods when they are not representing the national team,” part of the BCCI release read.

Coming back to the announced list of central contracts, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja have been retained in the top category A+. Interestingly, Hardik Pandya who hasn’t played any cricket since getting injured in the World Cup is in Category A alongside R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, KL Rahul, and Shubman Gill.

Yashasvi Jaiswal is the new entrant to the list in Grade B having made his debut in July 2023 in the Test format. He has since played a handful of T20 matches and has sealed his place as an opener in red-ball cricket smashing consecutive double centuries in the ongoing Test series against England.

Among promoted players are Siraj, Rahul and Gill who have been moved to Grade A while Rishabh Pant has been demoted to B having not played a single competitive game since surviving a horrific car carsh in December 2022. 

Cheteshwar Pujara, Umesh Yadav, Shikhar Dhawan, Deepak Hooda and Yuzvendra Chahal are no longer a part of the central contract now. The final tier – Grade C – is populated by T20 specialists with as many as 15 players. Moreover, BCCI has also confirmed that the players who play a minimum of three Tests or eight ODIs or 10 T20Is within the specified period will be automatically included in the Grade C contract list on a pro-rata basis. Accordingly, Dhruv Jurel and Sarfaraz Khan will be part of the list if they are named in the playing XI for the final Test against England starting from March 7 in Dharamsala.

Apart from all this, the selection committee has also recommended fast-bowling contracts for the first time. 

Here’s full BCCI central contracts list: 

Grade A+: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja

Grade A: R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya

Grade B: Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Yashasvi Jaiswal.

Grade C: Rinku Singh, Tilak Verma, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Shivam Dube, Ravi Bishnoi, Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar, Mukesh Kumar, Sanju Samson, Arshdeep Singh, KS Bharat, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Rajat Patidar


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