Former BCCI president Sourav Ganguly reacts to Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer’s contract termination

The recent decision by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to terminate the national contracts of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer has stirred up a heated debate within the cricketing community. As the cricketing world grapples with the implications of this decision, former BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has shared his perspective, adding depth to the ongoing saga.

Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan’s non-participation in domestic games

In the weeks preceding the contract termination, various reports and speculations hinted at the BCCI’s dissatisfaction with Kishan and Iyer. Allegations of their non-participation in domestic events, despite not being part of the national setup, fueled rumors about possible disciplinary action.

BCCI’s unprecedented decision

Contrary to initial skepticism, the BCCI took decisive action by axing the central contracts of both players during the announcement of the annual contracts for the year 2023-24. The press release singled out Kishan and Iyer, shedding light on the unprecedented move and catapulting the issue into the spotlight.

The missed matches and controversy

The decision stemmed from the players’ failure to adhere to the BCCI’s warning to join their respective Ranji teams. While Kishan went to Baroda to train with Pandya borthers, Iyer cited back pain as the reason for missing matches. The controversy escalated when a NCA medical official revealed that Iyer had no underlying injury.

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Sourav Ganguly’s blunt reaction to Kishan-Iyer saga

In a candid interview with RevSportz, Ganguly expressed surprise at the duo’s reluctance to participate in domestic cricket. He underscored the importance of first-class cricket for centrally contracted players, labeling it as a fundamental expectation in the cricketing landscape.

“I think the BCCI wants them to play first class cricket. I am surprised why Shreyas Iyer has not played Ranji Trophy. It is a premier tournament and you are supposed to play. So, it is a decision by BCCI and what they have thought right they have done. Every contracted cricketer must play first class cricket because that is the basic premise of cricket in this country,” said Ganguly.

Sympathy for Ishan Kishan and a call for engagement

While supporting the BCCI’s decision, Ganguly specifically addressed Kishan’s situation during another interaction with Times of India. He expressed sympathy for the young cricketer and called upon BCCI officials, including Secretary Jay Shah, President Roger Binny, and the selectors, to engage with Kishan. Ganguly emphasized Kishan’s potential and questioned whether his absence from first-class cricket had any adverse impact on his skill development.

“For someone like Ishan Kishan, BCCI secretary Jay Shah, president Roger Binny, and the selectors need to speak to him. All this while he has played Ranji and then played white-ball cricket. Has it made him a poorer player? It hasn’t,” said the former India captain and ex-BCCI president.

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