'BCCI had discussions with Hardik': How Pandya escaped the Kishan-Iyer treatment | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'BCCI had discussions with Hardik Pandya': How India all-rounder escaped Kishan-Iyer treatment at the last moment

By, New Delhi
Mar 01, 2024 08:54 AM IST

According to the top BCCI official, the apex board had discussions with Hardik Pandya. Here's how Hardik escaped the ‘Kishan-Iyer treatment’.

There were no doubts about what Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer bring to the table as premier batters at Team India. However, the batting duo was deemed surplus to requirements when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced its annual central contracts on Wednesday. Iyer and Kishan were not part of the 30-player list for the 2023-2024 season. After Kishan and Iyer lost their BCCI contracts, former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan shared an interesting post mentioning the curious case of all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

Hardik Pandya bagged a Grade A contract from the BCCI for the 2023-2024 season (PTI-Reuters)
Hardik Pandya bagged a Grade A contract from the BCCI for the 2023-2024 season (PTI-Reuters)

Contract extensions were not handed out to Iyer and Kishan for ignoring BCCI's directive to play in the Ranji Trophy. Wicketkeeper-batter Kishan refused to show up for Jharkhand in the Ranji season. Mumbai's Iyer was not available for the quarterfinal against Baroda following his exit from the Indian Test squad. Kishan's teammate at the Mumbai Indians (MI), all-rounder Pandya, bagged a Grade A contract from the apex cricket board for the 2023-2024 season.

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How Hardik Pandya escaped ‘Kishan-Iyer treatment’?

In his explosive tweet, Irfan suggested that Pandya was not judged on the same parameter. All-rounder Pandya only plays white-ball cricket for India. So, how did Pandya manage to escape the Kishan-Iyer treatment at the last moment? According to a report filed by the Indian Express, Pandya will play for Baroda in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s and Vijay Hazare Trophy when he is not a part of the national side. As per a top BCCI official, Pandya vowed to ply his trade with Baroda in domestic tournaments when the all-rounder is not on national duty.

‘Playing Ranji Trophy out of equation for Pandya’

“We have had discussions with Pandya, who has been told to play domestic white-ball tournaments when he is available. At this stage, according to the assessment of the BCCI’s medical team, he is not in a position to bowl in red-ball tournaments. So playing Ranji Trophy is out of the equation for Pandya. But he has to play other white-ball tournaments if there are no India commitments. If not, he will miss out on a contract,” the official was quoted as saying.

ALSO READ: Kohli, Rohit's Ranji absence raised by World Cup winner as Kishan, Iyer punished: 'Just to penalise the two not correct'

What's next for Hardik?

Recovering from an ankle injury ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, Pandya returned to competitive cricket for the first time after the 2023 World Cup at the DY Patil tournament. Pandya represented the Reliance One side in the local tournament. Pandya picked up two wickets and leaked 22 runs in three overs for Reliance One. The newly-appointed captain of the Mumbai Indians franchise also trained individually in Vadodara. However, Pandya also made sure that his fitness is his being monitored at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). The 30-year-old last played for India against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in 2023.

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