Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer left out from BCCI Annual Contracts, is the message clear?

Rohit Sharma’s Indirect Dig at Ishan Kishan Sparks Speculation Amidst BCCI Contract Omission

Star Indian cricketers Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer have been left out of the Annual Player Contracts for Team India (Senior Men) for the 2023-24 season, as announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday. The contracts, finalized for the period between October 1st, 2023, and September 30th, 2024, did not feature the two talented players, sparking rumors about their omission from the contract list.

The decision comes amidst recent developments in the players’ careers. Ishan Kishan opted for a break during the tour of South Africa and subsequently found himself dropped from the team for the T20Is against Afghanistan and the ongoing Test bilateral against England. India head coach Rahul Dravid remarked that Kishan needs to prove his readiness for selection by participating in domestic cricket.

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Similarly, Shreyas Iyer, who played the first two Tests against England, was dropped from the squad for the remaining three games without any official explanation from the BCCI. Iyer’s absence from Ranji Trophy matches for his state team Jharkhand also raised eyebrows, with a recent back issue further complicating matters.

In response to the exclusion of Kishan and Iyer from the central contract list, the BCCI emphasized the importance of participating in domestic cricket when not representing the national team. The board urged all athletes to prioritize domestic cricket during such periods.

Is the message clear?

Following Team India’s series-sealing win in the Ranchi Test against England, Indian captain Rohit Sharma appeared to take an indirect dig at Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan, who was notably absent from the team, during the post-match press conference.

As Team India secured an unassailable 3-1 scoreline with a thrilling five-wicket victory on Day 4, Rohit Sharma commended the performance of the team’s rising young players while subtly addressing Kishan’s commitment towards Test cricket. Without explicitly mentioning Kishan’s name, Rohit Sharma hinted at a lack of dedication towards the longer format of the game, contrasting it with the exemplary performances of other young talents such as Dhruv Jurel, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, and Kuldeep Yadav in the series.

During the press conference, Rohit Sharma emphasized the “hunger” displayed by the young players, highlighting it as a standout feature of their on-field contributions.

The skipper’s remarks come in the wake of Ishan Kishan’s omission from the annual contracts announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Along with Kishan, Shreyas Iyer was also left out from the contract list, prompting speculation about the message being conveyed by the team management.

The decision to exclude Kishan and Iyer from the contracts has raised questions about the selection criteria and potential shifts in team dynamics under Rohit Sharma’s leadership. With the skipper’s subtle dig at Kishan and the BCCI’s contract decisions, discussions have emerged regarding a potential change in approach towards players’ commitments and performances, aiming to address biases from the past and ensure unbiased selections in the future.

Meanwhile, top players such as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja secured spots in the highest – A+ – category. Six players, including R Ashwin, Mohd. Shami, and KL Rahul, were placed in the A category.

Furthermore, the BCCI introduced Fast Bowling contracts for several athletes, including Akash Deep, Vijaykumar Vyshak, and Umran Malik, among others, in a bid to recognize and support talent in the bowling department.