Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer lose central contracts as BCCI announces annual player retainership for 2023-24 season

Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were omitted from the list due to their reported defiance of directives to participate in the Ranji Trophy.

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made a significant announcement on Wednesday regarding the central contracts for the 2023-24 season. The prestigious Grade A+ category includes top players such as captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja. Surprisingly, Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were omitted from the list due to their reported defiance of directives to participate in the Ranji Trophy. 

On a positive note, Rinku Singh and Tilak Varma were among the fresh faces added to the central contracts list. They were placed in the Grade C category, which consists of 15 players. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shivam Dube, who made impressive comebacks to the Indian T20I team, also found a spot in this category. Additionally, Jitesh Sharma, who replaced Ishan Kishan in the Indian T20I team, was included in the Grade C list.

Rishabh Pant, who has been sidelined since a serious car accident in December 2022, was placed in Grade B along with Suryakumar Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, and Yashasvi Jaiswal. Jaiswal's consistent performances in T20Is and Tests earned him this recognition, particularly for his pivotal role in India's Test series victory against England. He currently holds the title of the highest run-scorer in the five-match series, with one game remaining in Dharamsala.

Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been placed in the  Grade A category, alongside star pacers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, as well as batters KL Rahul and Shubman Gill. Hardik Pandya, the dynamic all-rounder who captained the Indian T20I squad in 2023, has also secured his position in the Grade A central contracts.

Players who meet specific criteria, such as playing a minimum number of matches (3 Tests, 8 ODIs, or 10 T20Is) within the designated period (October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024), are automatically included in Grade C contracts on a pro-rata basis.

The BCCI, in its official statement, announced that Dhruv Jurel and Sarfaraz Khan, who have participated in two Test matches, could potentially move into Grade C if they feature in the upcoming Dharamsala Test, the fifth and final match of the ongoing series against England.

In addition to the annual contracts, the Selection Committee has recommended fast Bowling contracts for certain players, recognizing their specialized skills and potential contributions in the bowling department.

The recipients of these specialized contracts include Akash Deep, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Umran Malik, Yash Dayal, and Vidwath Kaverappa.

Also Read| Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dhruv Jurel take big strides in ICC Test rankings; Root back in top 3

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