BCCI’s Firm Warning to Players Neglecting Domestic Cricket

It happened as expected. Team India has targeted Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer. BCCI took action against both of them as they ignored the board's orders to play in Ranji Trophy.

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As anticipated, Team India focused on Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer. BCCI penalized them for not following the board’s directive to participate in the Ranji Trophy. Their exclusion from the list of centrally contracted players for the 2023-24 season, announced by the BCCI on Wednesday, is being widely discussed in Indian cricket circles.

Team India has targeted Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer. BCCI took action against both of them as they ignored the board’s orders to play in Ranji Trophy

The BCCI issued a stern warning to players who neglect domestic cricket. Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were removed from the BCCI contract list for not prioritizing the Ranji Trophy when not on the Indian team. Cheteshwar Pujara, out of the Indian team for nine months, also lost his central contract, possibly ending his Test team hopes. Shikhar Dhawan, Umesh Yadav, Deepak Hooda, and Chahal, out of the team for four years, were also omitted. Returning Indian team players can renew their contracts next year.

The BCCI’s action signals a firm stance. Despite the prestige of playing for Team India, there’s a growing perception among young cricketers that domestic tournaments are unnecessary. The BCCI appears poised to address this. Star players have largely stopped participating in the Ranji Trophy due to their busy schedules, including IPL commitments. However, the BCCI is perturbed by young players neglecting domestic cricket even during breaks from international duties. The catalyst for the board’s action was Ishan Kishan, who left a tour of South Africa halfway due to personal reasons. His apparent relief at not making the final squad and subsequent disregard for BCCI’s instructions irked the board. Despite Shreyas Iyer’s willingness to play in the Ranji final, the BCCI removed him from the contract list, intending to discipline both him and Ishan. This move aims to send a clear message to all young players.

In terms of contracts, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja retain their A+ grade status. R. Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, and Hardik Pandya are in ‘A’ grade. ‘B’ grade includes Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Akshar Patel, and Yashaswi Jaiswal. Players like Rinku Singh, Tilak Verma, Ruthuraj Gaikwad, Shivam Dubey, and others earned their first-time contracts in ‘C’ grade. Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Sanju Samson, Arshdeep Singh, and KS Bharat remain in ‘C’ grade. The BCCI plans to increase contract amounts this year.

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