Ravi Shastri gave this statement in support of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer

The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Wednesday announced the central contracts for players for the year 2023-2024.

Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer faced heavy consequences for not following the instructions to play in Ranji Trophy and BCCI dropped both of them from the central contract.

Despite not being in the national team, 25-year-old Kishan did not play for Jharkhand in the Ranji Trophy and instead focused on preparing for the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting next month.

He returned home from the tour of South Africa in December due to personal reasons and after that he did not get a place in the national team.

On the other hand, Iyer did not make himself available for the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Mumbai's Baroda after being dropped from the Indian team after the second Test match against England.

However, he has been selected in the Mumbai team for the Ranji semi-finals starting from March 2.

While Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were out of the central contract, Ravi Shastri supported both the players by tweeting, "Returning to the game of cricket defines your spirit. Keep up the courage, Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan. Challenges." Face this and come back even stronger. Your past achievements speak volumes and I have no doubt that you will prevail once again."

In the game of cricket, comebacks define the spirit.

Chin-up, @ShreyasIyer15 and @ishankishan51!

Dig deep, face challenges, and come back even stronger.

Your past achievements speak volumes, and I have no doubt you'll conquer once again.

— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) February 28, 2024

While announcing the central contracts for 2023-24, BCCI again advised the players to give priority to playing domestic cricket when they are not playing for the national team.

BCCI said in the statement, "Please note that the names of Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contract."

"The BCCI has recommended that all players give priority to playing domestic cricket when they are not representing the national team," the statement said.

Six cricketers have been placed in A category, which include Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya.

The fifth and final match to be played between India and England will be Ashwin's 100th match in Test cricket.

This off-spinner recently became the second Indian bowler after Anil Kumble to take 500 wickets in Test cricket.

Siraj was earlier in B category but now he has been kept in A category while Akshar Patel has been removed from A category and included in B category.

Apart from Akshar, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav and Yashasvi Jaiswal have been placed in B category.

Pant was in the A category last year but after being injured in a road accident in December 2022, he has not played any cricket match and hence he has been placed in the B category in the latest contract.

BCCI has placed 15 players in C category which include Rinku Singh, Tilak Verma, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Shivam Dubey, Ravi Bishnoi, Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar, Mukesh Kumar, Sanju Samson, Arshdeep Singh, KS Bharat, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Rajat Patidar are included.

Players who have played at least three Tests or eight ODIs or 10 T20 International matches within a certain period automatically get a place in C category.

Like Dhruv Jurel and Sarfaraz Khan have played only two Test matches so far and they will be included in Category C if they play in the fifth and final match against England to be held in Dharamsala from March 7.

Prominent players who have lost their annual contracts also include Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Umesh Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.

All these players have been out of the national team for some time.

The selection committee has also recommended contracts for fast bowlers Akash Deep, Vijaykumar Vishak, Umran Malik, Yash Dayal and Vidwath Kawerappa.

Akashdeep impressed with his performance while making his debut in the fourth Test cricket match against England.

India won this match and won the series.

Apart from this, BCCI has not mentioned the amount to be received for the annual contract by the players included in the four categories this time, deviating from the norms.

Generally, players included in A+ category are given an amount of Rs 7 crore every year, A category players are given Rs 5 crore, B category players are given Rs 3 crore and C category players are given Rs 1 crore.

This amount is apart from his match fees.

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