Differential treatment for Hardik Pandya? Irfan Pathan questions BCCI contracts

differential treatment for hardik pandya? irfan pathan questions bcci contracts

Differential treatment for Hardik Pandya? Irfan Pathan questions BCCI contracts

Former India fast bowler Irfan Pathan on Friday wondered if players like Hardik Pandya, who have prioritised limited-overs cricket, should be asked to play domestic white-ball competitions when not on national duty. Irfan’s comments came after the Indian cricket board (BCCI) terminated Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer’s contracts over their unavailability for the senior national team and missing red-ball domestic cricket this season.Â

In a decision that is seen as a strong message to senior national team hopefuls, the board said both Ishan and Shreyas, who had C and B grade contracts last year, were not considered for annual retainership for the 2023-24 season. As many as 30 cricketers were awarded central contracts on Thursday with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jasprit Bumrah retaining contracts in the top bracket (A+).Â

Hardik Pandya, who did not played for India since suffering an injury in a World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh, retained his contract in the A category, which is just a rung below the top bracket.Â

“They are talented cricketers, both Shreyas and Ishan. Hoping they bounce back and come back stronger. If players like Hardik don’t want to play red ball cricket, should he and others like him participate in white-ball domestic cricket when they aren’t on national duty? If this doesn’t apply to all, then Indian cricket won’t achieve the desired results,” Irfan Pathan said in a post on X.Â

Come back stronger: Shastri tells Ishan and Shreyas

Ishan Kishan returned to play competitive cricket for the first time since November 2023 at the ongoing DY Patil T20 Cup in Pune earlier this week. The wicketkeeper-batter took a break due to personal reasons during the tour of South Africa, pulling out from a Test series in December-January. While Ishan was not considered for selection since his break, the Jharkhand player missed the entire season of Ranji Trophy despite board secretary Jay Shah urging players, who are in national team contention, to play in the prestigious red-ball tournament.Â

On the other hand, Shreyas Iyer, who scored over 500 runs for India at the ODI World Cup last year, played a Ranji Trophy match before the start of the Test series against England and play the first two Tests before he was dropped for the remainder of the series.Â

The decision to terminate Shreyas’s contract has left fans divided, with quite a few arguing that the Mumbai batter opted to undergo surgery and missed IPL 2023 to get fit in time for the ODI World Cup. Iyer also was named as India’s vice-captain for the second leg of a T20I series at home.Â

Hardik Pandya, on the other hand, has not played Test cricket since September 2018 and the Baroda all-rounder has said his injury-prone body doesn’t allow him to think of the longest format of the game.

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