'No more chumbai lobby' - Fans react as Indian Cricket Board terminates Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer's annual contracts

The board had earlier said that all players who do not represent the Indian team should be prioritised to participate in domestic cricket. 

Mathew K
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Ishan Kishan & Shreyas Iyer (Source: X)

Ishan Kishan & Shreyas Iyer (Source: X)

The Indian Cricket Board on Wednesday announced the Annual Player Contracts for the senior men's team cricketers for the 2023-24 season. In a big move, star players Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were omitted from the list. Wicketkeeper batter Kishan was in the Grade C category while middle-order batter Iyer was in Grade B in last season's retainership contracts. 

"Please note that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations," the governing body of Indian cricket said in a statement. 

The development comes after the duo defied the board's directives to participate in the ongoing Ranji Trophy. Kishan has not played for India since pulling out of the Test series in South Africa citing mental exhaustion. He was suggested by head coach Rahul Dravid to play in India's premier domestic red-ball tournament and return to the team.

However, he continued to skip the tournament and was instead reportedly training for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). This did not sit well with the board and Secretary Jay Shah was forced to write to all players on contract stressing the importance of playing in the domestic circuit to compete for national team selection. 

On the other hand, Iyer, who was dropped after the first two Tests of the England series due to poor form, did not play in Mumbai's quarterfinal clash against Baroda. The board had earlier said that all players who do not represent the Indian team should be prioritised to participate in domestic cricket. 

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Iyer was named Mumbai's squad for the semi-final clash with Tamil Nadu starting in the first week of March. Kishan also made his return to competitive cricket on the same day while playing in the ongoing DY Patil T20 Cup in Mumbai. However, the board could not be persuaded to consider this last-minute change in the annual contract. 

Check out the full list of Indian Cricket Board annual contracts

Grade A+ (4 Athletes)

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja.

Grade A (6 Athletes)

R Ashwin, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya.

Grade B (5 Athletes)

Surya Kumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Yashasvi Jaiswal.

Grade C (15 Athletes)

Rinku Singh, Tilak Verma, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Shardul Thakur, Shivam Dube, Ravi Bishnoi, Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar, Mukesh Kumar, Sanju Samson, Arshdeep Singh, KS Bharat, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Rajat Patidar.

Here's how fans reacted: 

India featured Indian Cricket Board Ishan Kishan Shreyas Iyer