Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations.
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Prerana Toshniwal, Pune

On Wednesday, 28th February the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI)  released their annual player retainership for 2023-24 senior men’s team. This is for the period between October 1st, 2023 to September 30, 2024. The announcement of contracts included a total of 30 players which is an increase from last year’s 26. The contracts are divided into four categories- A+ (4 players), A(6 players), B(5 players) and C(15 players). Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja are in the top most tier of A+ in the contracts.

This was the inaugural season for Yashaswi Jaiswal in Grade B, Rinku Singh, Tilak Verma, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shivam Debe, Ravi Bishnoi,JItesh Sharma, Mukesh Kumar, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Rajat Patidar in Grade C. Mohommad Siraj, KL Rahul and Shubman Gill have been promoted to Grade A from their last seasons B while Rishabh Pant and Axar Patel have been moved down from Grade A to B.

Apart from the categorical annual contracts, there are fast bowling contracts for Akash Deep, Umran Malik, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Vidwath Kaverappa and Yash Dayal. Moreover, athletes who meet the criteria of playing a minimum of 3 Tests or 8 ODIs or 10 T20Is within the specified period will automatically be included in Grade C on a pro-rata basis. 

In the advisory released on the official website of BCCI, the board has also recommended that during the periods that the athletes are not representing the national team, they give precedence to the domestic matches. 

What grabbed the most attention was the mention of Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan not being considered for this round of recommendations. Former Indian men’s coach, Ravi Shastri took to X and while applauding the board and Jay Shah for fast bowling contracts, he also shared a message for the duo saying that in the game of cricket, comebacks define the spirit. He asked them to chin-up, dig deep, face challenges, and come back even stronger. He also added that their past achievements speak volumes and that he has no doubt that they’ll conquer once again.

It is also noteworthy that few other noted players like Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Deepak Hooda were not mentioned at all.