Hardik Pandya Would’ve Been Axed From BCCI Contract, But This Assurance Saved Him: Report

File photo of India all-rounder Hardik Pandya© X (formerly Twitter)

Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were excluded from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) list of centrally-contracted players due to not playing in domestic tournaments. While the move was welcomed by a number of experts, it also started a conversation surrounding all-rounder Hardik Pandya who was handed a Grade A contract despite not taking part in Ranji Trophy matches. According to a report by Indian Express, Hardik was handed the contract after he assured BCCI and selectors of his participation in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s and Vijay Hazare Trophy if he has no commitments with the national team.

Pandya injured his ankle during the Cricket World Cup 2023 and had remained out of action till making his return to competitive cricket in the DY Patil tournament.

“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 told The Indian Express.

Earlier, former India pacer Irfan Pathan has questioned the BCCI’s decision to deny central contracts to Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer for ignoring a diktat to play Ranji Trophy, saying that players like Hardik Pandya have not been judged on the same parameter.

“If players like Hardik don’t want to play red ball cricket, should he and others like him participate in white-ball domestic cricket when they aren’t on national duty?” he questioned BCCI’s decision, in his post on X.

“If this doesn’t apply to all, then Indian cricket won’t achieve the desired results!” he added.

(With PTI inputs)

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