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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the Annual Player Contracts for Team India (Senior Men) for the 2023-24 season, excluding star cricketers Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from the list. The contracts, covering the period from October 1st, 2023 to September 30th, 2024, raised speculation over the omission of the duo, a speculation now confirmed by the BCCI’s release on Wednesday.

In this round of recommendations, Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts,” stated the BCCI.

Kishan’s absence from the squad came after he opted for a break during the South Africa tour, subsequently being dropped for the T20Is against Afghanistan and the ongoing Test series versus England. India’s head coach, Rahul Dravid, emphasized Kishan’s necessity to reassert himself through domestic cricket to reclaim a spot in the national team.

Similarly, Iyer’s exclusion followed his participation in the first two Tests against England before being omitted from the squad for the remaining matches. Despite the lack of explanation from the BCCI, Iyer’s consistent absence from Ranji Trophy matches for Jharkhand likely contributed to his contract termination.

Recently, Iyer’s withdrawal from a Ranji Trophy fixture due to a back issue fueled speculations regarding the duo’s contract status, as reported by the Times of India.

Following the contract termination of Kishan and Iyer, the BCCI issued a directive urging players to prioritize participation in domestic cricket when not representing the national team.

The BCCI recommends that all athletes prioritize participating in domestic cricket during periods when they are not representing the national team,” stated the release.

Meanwhile, top-tier contracts (A+) were awarded to Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja, with six players securing category-A contracts.

Additionally, players meeting specified criteria for Test, ODI, or T20I appearances will be included in Grade C contracts on a pro-rata basis. The Selection Committee also recommended Fast Bowling contracts for specific athletes, aiming to bolster India’s bowling resources.

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