BCCI annual contracts: KL Rahul, Gill, Siraj move to Grade A

New Delhi: KL Rahul, Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj have moved up to Grade A in the BCCI Annual Contracts of senior men’s team for the season running from October 1, 2023 to September 30, 2024.

Notably, Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer have been excluded from the 30-member list of players awarded the BCCI Central Contracts, which is up from 26 last year.

In the last season, Rahul, Gill and Siraj were in Grade B, but impressive performances in the Men’s ODI World Cup and Test matches have meant the trio join Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya to be the six players in Grade A.

The BCCI said in a statement that Shreyas and Ishan, who were in Grade B and C respectively in the last central contracts list, were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations. It also recommended that all athletes give precedence to participating in domestic cricket during periods when they are not representing the national team.

Ishan had been out of cricketing action after pulling out of India’s Tests against South Africa last year due to personal reasons. He was reported to be training in Baroda and missed the entire Ranji Trophy campaign for Jharkhand. Recently, Ishan returned to action via the ongoing DY Patil T20 tournament in Navi Mumbai.

On the other hand, after being omitted from India’s Test squad for the last three Tests against England, Shreyas missed Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Baroda due to back issues, but has been named in the squad for the semi-final against Tamil Nadu starting on March 2 at BKC Ground.

Apart from Shreyas and Ishan, there are no places for Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Umesh Yadav, Deepak Hooda and Yuzvendra Chahal in the central contracts list. Grade A+ has four players in captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah, unchanged from last year.

Yashasvi Jaiswal, the leading run-getter in the ongoing Test series against England, is a new entrant in the central contracts and finds himself in Grade B alongside Suryakumar Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav (promoted from Grade C). Grade B also has Axar Patel and Rishabh Pant (out of cricketing action since December 2022 due to a horrific car accident), who were in Grade A last season.

Rinku Singh, Tilak Verma, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Shivam Dube, Ravi Bishnoi, Jitesh Sharma, Mukesh Kumar, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Rajat Patidar are the other newbies in the central contracts at Grade C.

Image courtesy of File photo

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