“Bit Surprised”: Ex-India Opener On Star’s Exclusion From BCCI Central Contracts


File photo of Indian cricket team.© AFP

The Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) on February 28 announced the annual player contracts for 2023-24 season. While Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan hogged the limelight for being excluded from the list, there were several other star players too who failed to make a cut. One among them is spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. Former India opener Aakash Chopra has expressed his surprise over the leg spinner being excluded from the central contracts of the BCCI. He added that Chahal’s ouster means the selection committee is looking at other options.

“I am a bit surprised that Yuzi Chahal’s name is not there. Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Shikhar Dhawan – their names not being there, I can understand. Even Deepak Hooda for that matter. But Chahal’s name not being there – what does that signify? It seems to indicate that they (BCCI) are looking in a different direction. This is a validation of the theory. He might have had a ray of hope, but it wasn’t to be. His name is not there,” said Chopra on his YouTube channel.

The out-of-favour duo of Kishan and 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.

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.

(With PTI Inputs)

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