Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer’s Troubles Don’t End; Duo’s T20 World Cup Chances Bleak After BCCI Axing: Report

Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were on Wednesday omitted from BCCI’s Annual Player Contracts for Team India (Senior Men) for the 2023-24 season (October 1st, 2023 to September 30th, 2024). Despite featuring regularly in the Indian cricket team in recent times, the duo’s sacking is being seen as a strong message by the BCCI for those who are ignoring domestic cricket. While Ishan Kishan was last part of the Test squad during India’s Tour of South Africa in December, Shreyas Iyer played the first two Tests of the ongoing series against England.

Yet, the BCCI removed the two senior player from the contracts list. In fact, the BCCI made it a point to single out the duo’s absence with the following line in the list: “Please note that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations.”

Now, according to a report in The Indian Express, the sacking from the BCCI central contract list makes the chances of the duo bleak for the 2024 T20 World Cup.

The duo are senior members of their respective sides in  the IPL. Shreyas Iyer is expected to lead Kolkata Knight Riders while Ishan Kishan will play for Mumbai Indians. However, the report added that there is a chance that they would be considered for national team selection only of they feature in domestic cricket. “Ishan was granted a break that he sought. But he hasn’t reported to the NCA or the state unit, but continues to train alone. Under the circumstances, there was no chance for the BCCI to offer a central contract. Similarly with Shreyas, we went by the medical reports. The door is still open for them provided they play domestic cricket regularly,” sources in the know told the newspaper.

While there was no official reason given on why Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were dropped, one line in BCCI’s release gives a strong hint. “The BCCI has recommended that all athletes give precedence to participating in domestic cricket during periods when they are not representing the national team,” the BCCI stated.

When Ishan Kishan had left India’s Tour of South Africa, the BCCI had said on December 17: “Mr Ishan Kishan has requested the BCCI to be released from the upcoming Test series against South Africa citing personal reasons. The wicket-keeper has subsequently been withdrawn from the Test squad.”

While it was expected that Ishan Kishan would play domestic cricket from his time away from the national team, the wicketkeeper-batter chose to remain absent from his state team Jharkhand’s Ranji Trophy matches. Despite Indian cricket team coach Rahul Dravid clearly mentioning that he need to play some form of cricket to regain his place in the Indian squad, Ishan Kishan ignored the instruction.

In fact, he only made a return to competitive cricket on Tuesday at the DY Patil T20 Cup.

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