Jay Shah openly blames Ajit Agarkar for dropping Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from BCCI's Central Contracts List

Updated - 10 May 2024, 05:21 PM

Ishan Kishan, Jay Shah and Shreyas Iyer
Ishan Kishan, Jay Shah and Shreyas Iyer. Image Credit: Getty Images

The BCCI Secretary, Jay Shah, revealed that the decision to remove Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from the list of annual central contracts was solely made by Ajit Agarkar, the chairman of selectors. Shah stressed that the rules are the same for all and "nobody is indispensable" in Indian cricket.

Both Kishan and Iyer were removed from the BCCI’s central contract list earlier this year after they refused to participate in domestic cricket tournaments, even though the board made it mandatory for all national players to play for their state teams when not on national duty.

Kishan didn’t participate in any domestic engagements despite BCCI’s instructions, opting for an extended break after the conclusion of the ODI World Cup 2023. The young wicketkeeper returned only for the ongoing IPL 2024, where he is struggling to make an impact for the Mumbai Indians (MI).

I'm just a convener: Jay Shah on the Shreyas Iyer-Ishan Kishan central contract issue

However, Iyer played a couple of matches for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy after initial denial, but he faced criticism for attending a Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) camp in Mumbai while his state teammates were engaged in the first-class fixture.

As reported by PTI, Jay Shah said during a media interaction at the BCCI head office: “You can check the constitution. I am just a convener of the selection meeting. That decision lies with Ajit Agarkar, even when these two players (Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer) who did not play domestic cricket, the decision to drop them from the central contracts list was only his. My role is just to implement. And we have got new players in place, like Sanju Samson. Nobody is indispensable.”

The BCCI secretary has further reiterated the board’s stance, stressing the importance of Indian players prioritizing domestic cricket. He also revealed talking to Indian players regarding the same, and even Hardik Pandya assured the BCCI that he would play white-ball matches for his state team.

Indian players must prioritize domestic cricket: Jay Shah

Shah added, “Yes, I had spoken with them. Media had even carried the reports. Even Hardik (Pandya) said if BCCI is considering me for white-ball, then I am ready to play Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Any player will have to play, even if they do not want to, they will have to.”

Furthermore, Shah stressed that the performance of players determines their success. Citing the example of Ishan Kishan, the BCCI secretary said that while he may excel for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL, performing consistently for India requires a different level of commitment and skill.

Speaking about his conversation with Kishan after the Mumbai Indians' (MI) IPL 2024 match against the Gujarat Titans (GT), Shah clarified that it was just a casual exchange, saying he did not offer any specific advice.

 The BCCI secretary said that it was a friendly conversation, and such interactions are common and part of his approach to encouraging players to perform well for the team and country.


Jay Shah Ishan Kishan Shreyas Iyer BCCI India National Cricket Team Hardik Pandya