Former Coach Ravi Shastri Encourages Kishan and Iyer Amidst Contract Snub: ‘Chin Up and Conquer Again

BCCI's Bold Move: Excluding Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from Central Contracts Raises Eyebrows

Former India coach Ravi Shastri has rallied behind cricketers Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) excluded them from the annual central contracts. Shastri is optimistic that the duo will make a strong comeback to the Indian team despite the setback.

“In the game of cricket, comebacks define the spirit. Chin-up, @ShreyasIyer15 and @ishankishan51! Dig deep, face challenges, and come back even stronger. Your past achievements speak volumes, and I have no doubt you’ll conquer once again,” Shastri posted on social media following the news of their exclusion.

The decision to drop Kishan and Iyer from the contract list comes after the players declined to participate in domestic matches, despite a stern directive from BCCI secretary Jay Shah. Shastri, acknowledging the challenges, praised the BCCI for introducing a separate category for fast bowling contracts, hailing it as a game-changing move and a crucial step for future cricket endeavors.

The exclusion from central contracts is a significant blow for Kishan and Iyer, particularly with the T20 World Cup looming in less than four months. Both players were part of India’s ODI World Cup squad last year, contributing to the team’s journey to the final, where they were defeated by Australia.

Iyer, a right-handed Mumbai batter, had recently featured in India’s Test squad in Hyderabad against England before being dropped due to a series of subpar performances in T20s. The controversy surrounding Iyer intensified when he opted out of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal for Mumbai, citing back and groin pain, a claim contradicted by the BCCI medical team.

Kishan, the explosive wicketkeeper-batsman, has been absent from the national squad since the South Africa tour, where he left mid-series, seeking a break due to mental fatigue. Making a comeback on Tuesday in the DY Patil T20 Cup, Kishan played his first professional match since the hiatus.

Insiders reveal that even if Kishan and Iyer return to the team and meet the pro-rata criteria later this year, they won’t be eligible for a central contract. Instead, they will be compensated based on the match format, reflecting a challenging road ahead for the talented duo.

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