“Nothing can be done by force”: Shreyas Iyer’s bold take on Wriddhiman Saha, Ishan Kishan’s contractual snub

Wriddhiman Saha, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer

Indian wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha believes that no cricketer can be pushed to play domestic cricket. Saha’s reaction came after the BCCI excluded Indian cricketers Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from the central contract list for 2023-24.

Kishan and Iyer did not play first-class cricket again as per the board’s orders and were preparing for the Indian Premier League. This did not sit well with the BCCI and hence both players were not considered for central contracts.

Wriddiman Saha believes dropping Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer is the BCCI’s decision and both players not playing domestic cricket is their personal decision. Saha stated that no player can be forced to play domestic cricket.

Wriddhiman Saha gives his verdict on Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer’s denial of central contract

Wriddhiman Saha said (quoted by PTI): “That is the decision of the BCCI and the personal decision of the players concerned. With force, you can’t do anything.”

The Indian goalkeeper further added that if he wants to stay fit, he plays every match whether it is in the club, in the office or in the national match. Saha also gave the example of Sarfaraz Khan and stated that he knows the importance of domestic cricket. Saha stated that Sarfaraz has scored many runs in domestic cricket and has also delivered for India.

He said: “Whenever I am fit I play, I even played club matches and also office matches. I always treat a match like a match. For me all games are the same. If every player thinks that way, they will only prosper in their career and it will also be better for Indian cricket. I feel the importance of domestic cricket is always there because if I talk about Sarfaraz Khan, he has scored a lot of runs in the last 4-5 years. Definitely, he has delivered.”

Wriddhiman Saha has been out of the Indian Test team for the last few years. Saha was India’s first-string goalkeeper until 2022, but was excluded from the team due to the promotion of Rishabh Pant.

Indian head coach Rahul Dravid recommended Ishan Kishan to play red-ball cricket but he decided to prepare for the IPL. Kishan withdrew from the Test series against South Africa and was not included in India’s squad for the England series. Coach Rahul Dravid advised Kishan to play red-ball cricket before returning to the Indian team, but he ignored the suggestion and traveled to Baroda to train with Hardik Pandya. The BCCI stated in its announcement that Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were not considered for the deal.

On the other hand, Shreyas Iyer was expected to join the Mumbai camp for the Ranji Trophy. Iyer was dropped from the Indian team after his poor performance in the first two Tests against England. However, Iyer withdrew from the Mumbai team due to a back spasm. Iyer received fitness clearance from NCA medical specialists and later declared himself ready to participate in the Ranji Trophy.

While both players have been excluded from the central contract, they will be eligible for selection. Ishan Kishan returned to cricket in the DY Patil T20 Cup and is now playing for the Reserve Bank of India. Kishan was seen working out with Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya in Vadodara, and will play with him for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League 2024.