“If players like Hardik don’t…” – Irfan Pathan slams BCCI for not giving central contracts to Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer

BCCI, Irfan Pathan, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer

In the wake of the loss of central contracts of Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan, former Indian bowler Irfan Pathan accused the BCCI of giving preferential treatment to some players.

The BCCI, on Wednesday (February 28), announced the list of its contracted center backs. The board has distributed central contracts to 30 players. Furthermore, they have also given new fast bowling contracts to some players. However, the highlight of the list was the absence of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer.

Recent reports indicated that both the players were likely to lose their central contracts after ignoring the BCCI’s directive to play Ranji games and the cricket board eventually decided to delist them. The BCCI not only removed them from the central contract list but also announced that they were not even considered for the new contracts.

Irfan Pathan reacts:

The BCCI’s decision not to award Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer the central contracts has not gone down well with many, including Irfan Pathan. On Thursday (February 29), he took to X (formerly Twitter) to criticize the BCCI for the decision and also questioned the preferential treatment given to Hardik Pandya.

Irfan Pathan asked the BCCI if players like Hardik Pandya, who do not play red-ball cricket, would be considered for selection in the national team. He claimed that Indian cricket will not move forward if the rule is not applied to everyone. Irfan Pathan also expressed his support for Kishan and Pandya when he wrote:

“They are talented cricketers, both Shreyas and Ishan. Hoping they recover and come back stronger. If players like Hardik don’t want to play red-ball cricket, should he and others like him participate in domestic white-ball cricket when they are not on national duty? If this is not applied to everyone, then Indian cricket will not achieve the desired results!”

Meanwhile, Kishan recently returned to action in the DY Patil T20 Cup in Pune. It was his first competitive match since November of last year. On the other hand, Iyer last played during the second Test against England earlier this month. Both players will return to high-profile cricket next month when the IPL begins. While Kishan will play for Mumbai Indians, Iyer will ply his trade for the Kolkata Knight Riders.