Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer's central contracts terminated by BCCI; Rinku gets in | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer's central contracts terminated by BCCI with immediate effect; Rinku Singh, Tilak Varma get in

Feb 28, 2024 09:07 PM IST

The BCCI have walked the talk and dropped Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer for the latest list of central contracts.

India batters Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer have been punished for continuing to ignore the BCCI's directives as the duo was left out from the board's list of central contracts for 2023-24 announced on Wednesday. India captain Rohit Sharma, along with Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja have been included in Grade A+ category.

India's Ishan Kishan is not part of the BCCI annual retainership list for 2023-24(AFP)
India's Ishan Kishan is not part of the BCCI annual retainership list for 2023-24(AFP)

Ishan and Iyer have been in the news for almost over a month, mostly for their prolonged absence from Ranji Trophy, at a time when the BCCI was regularly stressing on the importance and need to play First-Class cricket and not just the IPL. But given that neither Iyer or Ishan budged from their stance, the BCCI decided to crack the whip on their two star India cricketers.

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"Please note that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations," a statement from BCCI read over the duo's absence from the central contracts.

Rinku Singh and Tilak Varma, however, were among the many new faces included in the central contracts list. The duo was added to the Grade C category, which includes 15 players; Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shivam Dube, who made strong comebacks to the Indian T20I team, are a part of this category, too. Additionally, Jitesh Sharma, who replaced Ishan Kishan in the Indian T20I team, is also included in the 'C' list.

Rishabh Pant, who has been away from action since his horrific car crash in December 2022, was put on Grade B, which also includes Suryakumar Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, and Yashasvi Jaiswal. Pant is likely to make a return in the Indian Premier League this year; Suryakumar, meanwhile, remains one of India's most promising batters in the shortest format.

Also Read: Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer to lose BCCI central contract after ignoring Jay Shah's Ranji Trophy warning

Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel, meanwhile, have represented the side in multiple formats over the past months, with the former producing crucial performances in the ongoing Test series against England.

Jaiswal was rewarded for his consistent performances in the T20Is and Test; he played a key role in India's Test series win against England, and remains the highest run-scorer in the five-match series with a game remaining in Dharamsala.

Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was in the Grade A category alongside star pacers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, as well as batters KL Rahul and Shubman Gill. Hardik Pandya, the star all-rounder who led the Indian T20I squad throughout 2023, secured his spot in the Grade A central contracts.

New additions likely

Players meeting specific criteria, such as playing a minimum number of matches (3 Tests or 8 ODIs or 10 T20Is) within the designated period (October 1 2023 to September 30, 2024), were automatically included in Grade C contracts on a pro-rata basis.

The BCCI, in its statement, added that Dhruv Jurel and Sarfaraz Khan – having participated in two Test matches, could move into Grade C if they feature in the upcoming Dharamsala Test against England.

In addition to the annual contracts, the Selection Committee also recommended fast Bowling contracts for certain players, acknowledging their specialized skills and potential contributions in the bowling department.

The recipients of these contracts included Akash Deep, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Umran Malik, Yash Dayal, and Vidwath Kaverappa.

Full list of Central Contracts for 2023/24

Grade A+ (4 Athletes)

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja.

Grade A (6 Athletes)

R Ashwin, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya.

Grade B (5 Athletes)

Surya Kumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Yashasvi Jaiswal.

Grade C (15 Athletes)

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

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