Cheteshwar Pujara opens for first time after being expelled from BCCI Central Contract List

Cheteshwar Pujara Jay Shah

Outcast Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who played at No. 3 in the Indian Test team for most of the 2010s, reacted to the BCCI’s new Test cricket scheme for the first time. The new scheme was revealed by Hon’ble BCCI Secretary Jay Shah on the day India completed the Test series route 4-1 against England in Dharamshala last week.

The plan will not only incentivize the players but also boost the oldest format of Cricket. There was a lot of demand and protest within the cricket fraternity to save Test cricket from extinction. It came after players steadily began to snub red-ball cricket in favor of franchise-based tournaments around the world. But that will no longer be the case in India and Cheteshwar Pujara believes it is a huge initiative.

What did Cheteshwar Pujara say about BCCI’s new testing scheme?

Cheteshwar Pujara took to X (formerly Twitter) to praise Jay Shah for taking this decision to save and further boost the longer format. Pujara, who recently featured for Saurashtra in the 2024 Ranji Trophy before withdrawing from the competition since the pre-quarterfinal stage, feels it is a big step forward.

Starting his tweet, Cheteshwar Pujara confirmed that he was on a “refreshing” vacation with his family and after coming across Jay Shah’s tweet, things became even more refreshing. Pujara highlighted that the scheme will reward and encourage players who put everything on the line to play for the Indian Test team.

“I have just returned from a refreshing trip with the family and it is even more heartwarming to see such a great initiative by Jay Shah and the BCCI! It will surely reward and encourage those who act for the country in the purest format of the game! – Cheteshwar Pujara expressed himself in X.

It will mark a new beginning in the world of red-ball cricket and the BCCI’s plan could prompt other cricket boards to take a similar decision. It is a specific requirement for weaker cricket-playing nations, but it will also require them to generate a huge amount of funding.

The plan is simple for the BCCI as the board generates a lot of revenue from viewership, ticket sales and various advertisements. The Indian Premier League is also key in helping the board earn a lot of money which it can use to boost cricket across the country.

It was not just Cheteshwar Pujara who had words of gratitude for the BCCI, but several former cricketers also had an identical reaction. The likes of Aakash Chopra and Sunil Gavaskar, among others, have welcomed the plan and are eager to see the future of Test cricket, which seemed bleak at one point.

How was Cheteshwar Pujara’s Ranji Trophy 2024 season?

Cheteshwar Pujara had quite a successful season in the Ranji Trophy with Saurashtra. The team entered the 2024 edition as the defending champions but were denied entry to the quarter-finals after Tamil Nadu claimed an innings and a 33-run victory.

Of the 8 matches he played for Saurashtra, Cheteshwar Pujara scored 829 runs in 13 innings against Jharkhand, Haryana, Vidarbha, Services, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Manipur and Tamil Nadu. Irrespective of this, he was not part of the BCCI’s central contract and his benefits from the new Test scheme are far from happening.