India TV Poll results: Do you agree with BCCI’s decision to exclude Ishan and Iyer from the central contract?

In what has turned into a momentous decision by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the exclusion of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from the central contract list has sparked widespread debate within Indian cricket’s fraternity. The decision was rooted in the players’ reported reluctance to participate in the esteemed Ranji Trophy, India’s premier domestic first-class cricket championship.

The BCCI had previously laid down a clear mandate for centrally contracted players, emphasizing the necessity of their participation in domestic cricket and unequivocally stating the severe implications of non-compliance. Despite this diktat, Kishan did not feature in the red-ball tournament after pulling out from the team ahead of the Test series against South Africa, favoring his preparation for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). Instead, he was seen training with his Mumbai Indians’ new captain Hardik Pandya in Baroda and made his competitive return in the DY Patil T20 Cup.

On the other hand, Iyer, who did enter the fray during the semifinals for Mumbai, skipped the final league game and quarterfinal, allegedly due to an injury. However, Nitin Patel, the head of sports science and medicine at the National Cricket Academy, reported no new injuries following Iyer’s departure from the Indian team. This raised eyebrows about the legitimacy of his absence earlier in the tournament.

The duo’s absence in fulfilling domestic commitments did not sit well with the Indian Board, which viewed it as an oversight of their professional responsibilities. Consequently, the board decided to send a strong message by removing the players from the central contract, a move that garnered support from several cricketing experts.

Kirit Azad, a luminary of India’s 1983 World Cup-winning squad, was one of the first to praise BCCI’s decision. Azad emphasized the significance of playing in the Ranji Trophy, delineating the tournament as the crux of ‘real cricket’, and marked the Board’s directive as praiseworthy for reinforcing the importance of five-day cricket amidst the razzmatazz of the IPL.

Added applause came from the former Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri, who extolled the Board’s groundbreaking introduction of ‘fast bowling’ contracts. Shastri endorsed the decision to leave out Iyer and Kishan, heralding it as a testament to the prioritization of Test and domestic cricket, a sentiment he sees as imperative for shaping the future of the sport.

In light of this decision by the BCCI, India TV sought to gauge public opinion on the matter. The pertinent poll posed to our readers, inquiring whether they concur with the Board’s action to exclude Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from the central contract, resulted in an overwhelming response. With 9,128 votes cast, a significant 66.76% sided with the BCCI’s judgment, while 29.10% disagreed, and 5.07% remained undecided.

These results mirror a prevailing sentiment within the cricket community that upholds the primacy of domestic competitions as a cornerstone for international cricket’s sustained quality and success. The Board’s firm stance is seemingly in alignment with the ethos of nurturing home-grown talent through robust involvement in national tournaments – a foundational element that ensures the readiness and caliber of players representing India on the global stage.

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