Shreyas Iyer ditches Ranji like Ishan Kishan but reason is even more infuriating | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Shreyas Iyer adds to BCCI woes after Ishan Kishan, ditches Ranji Trophy citing injury despite being declared fit: Report

Feb 22, 2024 01:20 PM IST

At a time when Kishan did not play a single Ranji Trophy game despite BCCI's orders, it has come to light that Shreyas Iyer too has made himself unavailable.

Shreyas Iyer is the latest noted Indian cricketer after Ishan Kishan to add to BCCI's worries. At a time when Kishan did not play a single Ranji Trophy game for Jharkhand in the ongoing domestic season despite repeated reminders from head coach Rahul Dravid and BCCI secretary Jay Shah, it has now come to light that Iyer did not make himself available for Mumbai's knockout fixtures. Mumbai are set to face Baroda in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final which starts on Friday.

India's batter Shreyas Iyer(PTI)
India's batter Shreyas Iyer(PTI)

As per an Indian Express report, Iyer informed the Mumbai Cricket Association that he was unavailable for the quarter-final match due to a back injury. However, National Cricket Academy (NCA) head of sports science and medicine, Nitin Patel, in an email to the MCA selectors, informed that Iyer had no fresh injuries and was cleared to play.

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Shreyas Iyer was fit and available for selection as per the handover report of the Indian team after the 2nd Test match against England. There are currently no fresh injuries reported as well after his departure from Team India," Patel wrote in the email.

This raises serious doubts over the young Indian cricketer's attitude towards domestic red-ball cricket. With the IPL being a month away, they don't want to risk fatigue or injury which may hamper their chances of participating in the world's richest T20 league. Notably, Iyer, who missed the last season due to injury, is set to be back as the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2024.

Iyer was dropped from the Indian side for the last three Tests against England after a prolonged dry run in red-ball cricket. He went without a half-century for 13 straight innings. He did indeed face difficulties in his lower back and groin area while batting during the second Test in Vizag but the BCCI medical team and the NCA staff declared him fit. He was available for selection but the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee decided to drop him and advised him to play Ranji Trophy. Iyer, however, did not pay any heed to it.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah's direct orders for all contracted cricketers

This comes barely four days after the BCCI secretary asserted that the board is really happy with the Indian Premier League's success over the years. However, he said that players prioritising domestic cricket over IPL was not anticipated.

"However, there is a trend that has started to emerge and is a cause for concern. Some players have begun prioritising the IPL over domestic cricket, a shift that was not anticipated. Domestic cricket has always been the foundation upon which Indian cricket stands, and it has never been undervalued in our vision for the sport," Jay Shah wrote in the letter addressed to players.

Shah further stated that the board has a clear vision from the start that whoever aspires to play for India should play domestic cricket first.

"It is essential to recognise that domestic cricket forms the backbone of Indian cricket and serves as the feeder line to Team India. Our vision for Indian cricket has been clear from the outset - every cricketer aspiring to play for India must prove themselves in domestic cricket. Performance in domestic tournaments remains a critical yardstick for selection, and non-participation in domestic cricket will carry severe implications."

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