"What does that signify?" - Aakash Chopra on Yuzvendra Chahal not getting BCCI central contract

Updated - 29 Feb 2024, 04:08 PM

Aakash Chopra, Yuzvendra Chahal
PC: X/Twitter

Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra shared his verdict on leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal not getting BCCI’s annual contract for the upcoming season. He said that he was surprised by the spinner’s omission it seems the governing body is looking in some other direction.

BCCI on Wednesday (February 28) announced the central contracts for the 2023-24 season. While all the attention was towards the snub of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer, there was another big name that missed out. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal didn’t make it into the list and it surprised many.

Yuzvendra Chahal was one of the key members of the Indian team in the white-ball cricket from 2017. The leg-spinner filled in the shoes of Ravichandran Ashwin perfectly well after he was sidelined from the white-ball setup. Chahal bowled incredibly well and played a huge part in some of the famous Indian victories.

Yuzvendra Chahal for the last few months has been struggling to get his rhythm. The leg-spinner has been replaced by Ravi Bishnoi in the T20Is and Kuldeep Yadav is getting preference in the ODIs. Even though he is getting picked in squads but is not getting opportunities.

Yuzvendra Chahal not getting an annual contract surprised Aakash Chopra, who feels it signifies that BCCI is not looking at the leg-spinner. The cricketer-turned-commentator believes that the spinner’s ray of hope has also ended. Speaking in a video posted on his YouTube channel, he explained:

“I am a bit surprised that Yuzi Chahal’s name is not there. Cheteshwar Pujara, Akinkya Rahane, and Shikhar Dhawan – their names not being there, I can understand. Even Deepak Hooda for that matter. But Chahal’s name not being there – what does that signify? 

“It seems to indicate that they [BCCI] are looking in a different direction. This is a validation of the theory. He might have had a ray of hope, but it wasn’t to be. His name is not there.”

Was half-hoping that his name would be there – Aakash Chopra on Deepak Chahar

Aakash Chopra further pointed out that Deepak Chahar was about to get the contract but him missing a few games for India due to family reasons didn’t get him a contract.

Aakash Chopra, however, is optimistic that Deepak Chahar will get the contract because he is in the scheme of things. Talking about the same, he explained:

“Deepak Chahar was almost there I think. His father was not well, so he did not play, otherwise he would have played against Afghanistan. I was half-hoping that his name would be there, but if he plays the World Cup, and ends up playing 10 T20Is, his name would get added. But, at this point in time, it is not there. No other huge [surprises] other than that.”

Deepak Chahar last played for India against Australia in Raipur in December 2023. The pacer has played 13 ODIs and 25 T20Is, claiming 16 and 31 wickets, respectively. The fast bowler will be next seen in action for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL 2024. The tournament will be extremely important for him as T20 World Cup is around the corner.

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Aakash Chopra India National Cricket Team Yuzvendra Chahal