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Shreyas, Kishan dropped from BCCI central contract


India’s Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer take a run during the second one-day international cricket match between India and South Africa, in Ranchi.
| Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan, who were members of India’s ODI World Cup squad, have been stripped off the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI’s) central retainer for 2023-24.

The list of 30 men’s cricketers was announced by the BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Wednesday. “Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations,” Shah stated.

While the statement does not specify the reason, the BCCI administration, along with the team-management and the selection panel, has been extremely unhappy with Kishan and Shreyas over their reluctance to participate in the Ranji Trophy.

Despite repeated directives, Kishan did not feature in the Ranji Trophy, instead preferring to train in Vadodara along with his franchise captain Hardik Pandya after returning midway through India’s tour of South Africa. After being omitted from India’s Test squad after the second Test against England, Shreyas did not turn up for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. On Tuesday, he made himself available for Mumbai’s Ranji semifinal versus Tamil Nadu.

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

Despite being eligible for a pro-rata contract, The Hindu understands that the duo will not be offered a retainer at all as disciplinary action and to set a strong example for the cricketers who have been increasingly prioritising the Indian Premier League over other competitions.

Without a BCCI contract, the duo will also be unable to have the medical cover offered by the BCCI and will be able to access the BCCI training and rehab infrastructure, including the National Cricket Academy, only through a request by their respective State association.

For the first time, the BCCI has offered fast-bowling contracts for five pacers who are not among the list of 30 centrally contracted players. They include Akash Deep, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Umran Malik, Yash Dayal and Vidwath Kaverappa.

Among the list of 30 contracted cricketers, K.L. Rahul, despite a mysterious quad injury at the moment, Mohammed Siraj, Shubman Gill, Kuldeep Yadav and Yashasvi Jaiswal have been the big gainers. Jaiswal makes an entry into the contracts fold in Grade B, while Kuldeep has been promoted from Grade C to B. The remaining trio has been promoted from Grade B to A on the back of their performance in the previous contract cycle.

The BCCI’s central retainer cycle runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, so the list of 30 cricketers announced on Wednesday will be in effect till September end.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant who has been working hard on a comeback since his road accident almost 15 months ago, have been moved from Grade B to A.

All the annual retainer fees, along with the match fees, have been left unchanged. As a result, Grade A+ cricketers will earn ₹7 crore, while the ones in Grade A, B and C will take home ₹5 crore, ₹3 crore and ₹1 crore, respectively.

As per the convention, any non-contracted cricketer — except Shreyas and Kishan — who will play a minimum of 3 Tests, eight ODIs or 10 T20Is during the contract period is eligible for a contract on a pro-rata basis since the date of his eligibility.



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