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Ishan Kishan, Iyer lose central contracts

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New Delhi, Feb 28: The out-of-favour duo of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were excluded after ignoring the directive to play Ranji Trophy, while skipper Rohit Sharma and star batter Virat Kohli expectedly retained their place in the top bracket as the BCCI unveiled its centrally-contracted players for this year on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Kishan did not turn up for Jharkhand throughout the team’s campaign in Ranji Trophy despite not being on national duty since leaving from the tour of South Africa in December citing personal reasons. He has instead focussed on preparing for the IPL next month.
Iyer, on the other hand, did not make himself available for Mumbai’s Ranji quarterfinal against Baroda after being excluded from the Indian team after the second Test against England. He, however, has been picked for the Ranji semifinals starting March 2.While announcing the central contracts for 2023-24, the BCCI once again advised all India cricketers to play domestic games when not on national duty.
“Please note that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations,” said the BCCI in a statement.
Their exclusion can be seen as a stern message to young players unwilling to put in the hard yards in first-class cricket, while chasing white-ball glory and lucrative IPL contracts.
Rohit, Kohli, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja were retained in the A plus category, the highest bracket of the BCCI’s central contracts list.
Six cricketers feature in the A category including senior off-spinner R Ashwin, who will be playing his 100th Test next week, when India takes on England in the fifth and final game. Ashwin recently became only second Indian bowler after formr captain Anil Kumble to take cross 500 wickets in Tests.
Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya are the others to feature in the A category.
Siraj, who was in the B category previously, has been promoted while Axar Patel has moved down from A to B.Others in the B category are Suryakumar Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant and Yashasvi Jaiswal, who has had a stellar start to his international career.Pant was in the A category last year but finds himself in B in the latest contracts having not played any cricket since his horrific accident in December 2022. (PTI)

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