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HomeNewsRohit and I don't decide contracts: Dravid on Iyer, Kishan omission

Rohit and I don’t decide contracts: Dravid on Iyer, Kishan omission

NEW DELHI: The fate of sidelined cricketers

Shreyas Iyer


Ishan Kishan

has sparked widespread debate following their omission from the BCCI central contract list. However, India head coach

Rahul Dravid

on Saturday expressed reluctance to shut the door on their prospects.
Ishan Kishan, absent from the two-Test series against South Africa, has been diligently preparing for the upcoming IPL alongside Mumbai Indians’ teammate

Hardik Pandya

at a private facility in Baroda.

In defiance of the BCCI’s directive to participate in domestic matches, Iyer initially withdrew from Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy quarterfinal, citing back spasms.
However, he subsequently played in the semifinal against Tamil Nadu and is slated to feature in the final against Vidarbha starting Sunday.
“They are always in the mix. Nobody is out of picture. Everyone who’s playing domestic cricket is in the mix. It’s just a question of, hopefully, them getting back and fit, playing cricket, and forcing the selectors to pick them again.”

However Dravid steered cleared when the sensitive issue of central contract cropped up.
“I don’t decide contracts, right? Contracts are decided by the selectors and the board. I don’t even know what is the criteria (for inclusion). Me and Rohit select the (playing) 11. We have never discussed whether somebody has a contract or not. I don’t even know what the list of the contracted players is,” said Dravid in the post-match press-conference.

After India bagged the five-match series against England 4-1, BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced a ‘Test Cricket Incentive Scheme’ for players appearing in more red-ball cricket for the country.
Dravid hoped that the players would look at it as a reward for their hard work rather than another source to earn money.
“I really hope money is not going to be the incentive to play Test cricket. It’s just the hard work and how tough Test cricket can be is being recognised.
“So, I wouldn’t see it as an incentive to make people play Test cricket, I hope not. But it is nice that the BCCI is recognizing it. I think it is a reward, not an incentive,” said the former Indian skipper.
He then proceeded to cite the example of veteran spinner

Ravichandran Ashwin

to validate his point.
“It takes a special person to do what Ashwin has done (rejoining the team after a personal emergency), to play 100 Tests, you go through a lot. We don’t celebrate 100 T20Is in the same way, do we?
“It’s only when you get here that you realise that sometimes it’s quite tough, but it is extremely satisfying (to play Tests). If they are well supported and well documented, I am sure there will be a lot of people still wanting to play Test cricket,” said Dravid.
Ranji Trophy scheduling
The talk about the primacy of red-ball cricket also took the questions to the hectic schedule of Ranji Trophy, as pointed out by India all-rounder Shardul Thakur.
The premier domestic tournament was played out in a rush between January and March, as the teams often had to return to the field after a short break.
Dravid said a deep thought is needed on the subject.
“I saw some of the comments by Shardul. In fact, some of the boys who’ve come into the team also commented about how tough the domestic schedule is,” Dravid admitted.
“We need to hear the players because they are going through the grind and putting their bodies on the line. We need to see how we can manage our schedules. It’s a long season already in India. It’s tough,” he said.
In that context, Dravid called for a thorough revisit of the domestic calendar.
“The Ranji Trophy is a long season, and if you add a Duleep and a Deodhar to that…if I’m not mistaken, the Duleep started in June, a month after the IPL.
“Your problem in this situation is your best players, the guys who are pushing for selection for India, are the ones that end up playing the most cricket. So, it can get quite tough on a lot of those boys.”
He wants BCCI to have a re-look at the calendar.
“Maybe we need to re-look and see whether some of the tournaments that we are conducting are necessary in this day and age or if they are not necessary. There needs to be an all-round review involving coaches and players,” he signed off.
(With inputs from PTI)