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BCCI source says Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer will be awarded central contracts if…

A BCCI source explained how Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer can their central contracts back. They were not among the 30 awarded contracts for the 2023-24 season.

Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer will have to return to the drawing board. Their journey back into the Indian side won’t be an easy one. But it’s not impossible by any means. Losing out on a central contract when you were in consideration for all three formats is a big blow, no doubt about it. What it essentially means is that Kishan and Iyer are unlikely to be considered for selection in the near future. The central contracts are framed on the recommendations of the selection committee and the 30 chosen ones are likely to be the preferred choice whenever an Indian team is picked.

Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan

This, however, does not mean that the ones outside the central contract cannot be picked or won’t be picked. There are countless examples from the past when out-of-favour players have made a comeback to the Indian side despite not being a part of that season’s central contract. In some cases, they have also made their way into the contract after consistent performances.

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Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer have quality and age on their side. The Indian Premier League (IPL 2024) comes at the right time for them. Their immediate goal would be to put this episode behind them and let their respective bats do the talking during the tournament.

If they do that, the doors for the Indian team will surely open again. In fact, a BCCI source said, if Kishan and Iyer can claw their way back into the Indian side and represent the country for the required number of matches then they can get their contracts back soon.

“The selectors don’t doubt their ability,” a BCCI official told ESPNcricinfo. “But if the NCA is saying you are fit and you are not making yourself available for the Test series, how can the BCCI offer you a contract?

“After the IPL, if they happen to get selected and fulfil the criteria of the number of matches required for a pro-rata contract, they will be awarded a contract.”

Why Kishan and Iyer lost the central contracts

“Please note that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations,” BCCI said in the official release. But why? They didn’t mention it directly but the last sentence of the release was more than enough to give a clear indication. “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 board said.

Both Kishan and Iyer ignored the board and the team management’s orders to turn up for the Ranji Trophy. Kishan’s case is more serious here. He pulled out of the South Africa tour midway citing mental fatigue. But when head coach Rahul Dravid made it clear that the left-hander has to play domestic cricket to be considered for selection again, he decided to train with his IPL franchise, Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya in Baroda instead of making himself available for Jharkhand.

An ESPNCricinfo report said that the selectors got in touch with Kishan during the India vs England Test series but he said he was not ready. This did not go down well with the decision makers.

Iyer’s case is slightly different. The right-hander was a part of the XI for the first two Tests against England. He reportedly complained of back pain but was declared fit by the NCA. The selectors, however, did not include him in the squad for the three next Tests. Iyer chose to skip the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal citing the same back injury but the NCA medical team informed Mumbai selectors that Iyer was fit. At the same time, Iyer was spotted in the training camp of the Kolkata Knight Riders, the franchise he is set to lead in the upcoming IPL.

The board decided to crack the whip.


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