Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan lose BCCI contracts for ignoring domestic cricket | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan lose BCCI contracts for ignoring domestic cricket

Feb 29, 2024 06:28 AM IST

A total of 30 players have been given BCCI annual contracts with an additional fast bowling contract category added to the list

The Indian cricket board has come down hard on players prioritising lucrative IPL contracts over red-ball cricket. In the latest round of the annual player retainership contracts (2023-24) announced by the Board for Control of Cricket in India on Wednesday, it was made clear that ‘Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations’.

India's Shreyas Iyer in action during India's Test series against South Africa(AFP)
India's Shreyas Iyer in action during India's Test series against South Africa(AFP)

The statement further said: “The BCCI has recommended that all athletes give precedence to participating in domestic cricket during periods when they are not representing the national team.”

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A total of 30 players received annual contracts. The retainership amount across Grades remains the same – A+ ( 7 crore), A ( 5 crore), B ( 3 crore), C ( 1 crore).

Middle order batter Iyer had opted out of two Ranji Trophy ties for Mumbai after being dropped from the national team following the Visakhapatnam Test match due to a series of low scores. While the batter informed the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) that he had discomfort in the back, the National Cricket Academy (NCA) medical team made it clear that the player was passed fit.

Similarly, Ishan Kishan who dropped out of the Indian Test team in South Africa last November, for ‘personal reasons’ chose not to make himself available for any of the Ranji Trophy matches for his state team Jharkhand.

In the last cycle, Iyer held a Grade B BCCI contract ( 3 crore) and Kishan Grade C ( 1 crore). While this may not hurt the players monetarily as much – Iyer is Kolkata Knight Riders captain worth 12.25 crore and Kishan makes 15.25 crore from his Mumbai Indians contract - this is the first time that the Indian board has publicly come down hard on the players for running away from domestic cricket for IPL. “The franchises have been spoken to as well and they agree that the players are wrong,” a senior BCCI official said.

While Kishan has returned to action in the D Y Patil T20 tournament, Iyer will be turning out for Mumbai in the Ranji trophy semi-finals against Tamil Nadu on Saturday.

KL RAHUL, GILL, SIRAJ PROMOTED TO GRADE A

India’s all-format players captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja keep their A+ contracts. There have been several promotions and demotions in the other categories. KL Rahul, Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj have moved up to Grade A. Axar Patel, who hasn’t had as much game time across formats drops down a grade to B. Rishabh Pant, who is still undergoing rehab following his unfortunate road accident in December 2022 still finds a contract but moves down from A to B.

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, back at his best gets a promotion from Grade C to B. Young batting star Yashasvi Jaiswal’s stocks continue to rise as he makes an entry to the contract list and straightaway gets Grade B. Jaiswal has been prolific in the ongoing Test series against England, already the joint-second-highest Indian run-getter in a home Test series, equaling Virat Kohli’s 655 runs tally, with a Test to be played.

Athletes meeting the criteria of playing a minimum of 3 Tests or 8 ODIs or 10 T20Is from October 2023-September 2024 are automatically included in Grade C on a pro-rata basis. “For instance, Dhruv Jurel and Sarfaraz Khan, having played 2 Test matches so far, will be inducted into Grade C if they participate in the Dharamsala Test Match, i.e., the 5th Test of the ongoing series against England,” a BCCI note said.

FAST BOWLING CONTRACTS

For the first time, the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee recommended fast bowling contracts to Ranchi Test hero Akash Deep, Karnataka pacers Vijaykumar Vyshak and Vidwath Kaverappa, J&K express pacer Umran Malik and UP left-arm seamer Yash Dayal.

“The move is aimed at building a targeted fast-bowling bench. They will receive insurance benefits and get access to NCA training facilities like contracted players,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah told HT.

Rinku Singh, Tilak Verma, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shivam Dube, Ravi Bishnoi, Jitesh Sharma, Mukesh Kumar, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Rajat Patidar are new inclusions in Grade C. Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Sanju Samson, Arshdeep Singh and KS Bharat retain their Grade C contracts.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Rasesh Mandani loves a straight drive. He has been covering cricket, the governance and business side of sport for close to two decades. He writes and video blogs for HT.

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