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Time for Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan to reveal ‘truth’: Uthappa’s ‘level of Ranji Trophy’ remark on BCCI contract saga

Speaking to HT on the sidelines of Legends Cricket Trophy, Robin Uthappa said that BCCI needs to make Ranji Trophy more challenging for international players

The BCCI central contracts for the 2023-24 season has created quite a stir in Indian cricket over the last 10 days. Middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer and wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan lost their contracts after both missed the ongoing Ranji Trophy season. The board had sent a letter warning centrally-contracted players to not prioritise Indian Premier League (IPL) over domestic cricket, but the two turned a blind eye to the diktat, resulting in BCCI taking an unprecedented step, thus setting an example in Indian cricket.

Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan have both been removed from BCCI’s annual retainership

Former India cricketers and experts of the game backed BCCI call, while media reports put up various aspects of the contract saga, providing inside details on the build-up to the decision to Iyer and Ishan’s perspective from those in close contact with the two players. But all have been a mere speculation.

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Speaking to Hindustan Times on the sidelines of the newly-announced Legends Cricket Trophy in Sri Lanka, a 90-ball format featuring yesteryear stars, former India cricketer Robin Uthappa called for end of speculations, saying that it’s time for hear the actual truth from Iyer and Ishan, or at least from ones in contact with them, indicating India skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid.

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“I think we as individuals and as perhaps today, I see myself on your side of the table as well. As a broadcaster, I also want to know answers. I also like to know what the truth is. Having said that, we won’t know what the truth is, unless it’s spoken by the stakeholders of this piece, and that is the players themselves and the ones involved with the players themselves, and that’s the captain, the coaches, support staff. And I think we’ll only keep speculating about all of it until we hear from these players in particular or from the selectors in particular. And I think we can all speculate as much as we want. But for me, I would like to reserve till I actually know for sure what’s happened and what transpired it,” he said.

‘Can’t say level of Ranji Trophy is where it used to be 10 years ago’: Uthappa

Uthappa, however, felt that the level of Ranji Trophy over the years has diminished and that the BCCI needs to make it more challenging for international players and for those having the talent to make it to the Indian team to consider it as a potential option that will improve their game.

“If I look at it from the larger perspective of domestic cricket needs to be played, I believe domestic cricket needs to be played, but I also believe that domestic cricket needs to be challenging. It needs to be attractive for a player of international calibre to say, hey, this will really help me climb the ladder.

“I don’t know if I can confidently say that the level of Ranji Trophy today is where it used to be, say, ten years ago. And that, for me, is a point of concern. And I think that needs to be addressed on a larger perspective,” he added.


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