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'I'm Surprised,' Sourav Ganguly Reacts to Iyer Skipping Ranji Trophy Matches

Sourav Ganguly reacts to Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer's removal from BCCI Annual Contracts

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Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly expressed his astonishment on seeing Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer not taking part in domestic cricket, when not on national duty.

BCCI, on Wednesday, released the list of annual contracts for senior men, for the 2023-24 session. However, it didn't feature the names of Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan, which as per the reports, was the result of the ignorance of domestic cricket by the two players.

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Former BCCI President Sourav Ganguly made a statement reacting to the board's decision and backed their vision, encouraging players to participate in domestic cricket and respect it. He continued by expressing his surprise over the decision of Ishan and Iyer to not take part in the First Class cricket.

Speaking to a sports news site, Ganguly said, "I think the BCCI wants them to play first-class cricket. I am surprised why Shreyas Iyer has not played Ranji Trophy. It is a premier tournament and you are supposed to play. So, it is a decision by BCCI and what they have thought right they have done. Every contracted cricketer must play first-class cricket because that is the basic premise of cricket in this country."
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Ishan Kishan has been out of International action ever since he bowed out of the Test against South Africa in December last year. He was advised by head coach Rahul Dravid to play some cricket before coming back to International cricket.

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah also wrote a letter to the players, warning them that not prioritizing domestic cricket can lead to severe consequences. However, Ishan still didn't play the Ranji Trophy matches for Bihar and is now making his comeback to competitive cricket by taking part in the DY Patil T20 Cup for Reserve Bank Of India.

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"You are supposed to play first class cricket. Once you are a contracted player, you are expected to play the Premier tournament. Shreyas Iyer is playing the semi-final for Mumbai in a couple of days' time. Yes, they are young people and Ishan has surprised me.

"He was part of the Indian team in all formats. Such a big contract in IPL. I don't know why he has done that. You must play especially when you are as gifted as Ishan Kishan. When you are playing for India in all formats, you must play. I was surprised by his decision not to," Ganguly further added.

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Shreyas Iyer was excluded from India's squad for the ongoing series against England after playing the first two Tests. The Kolkata Knight Riders skipper then bowed out of the Ranji Trophy quarter-final between Mumbai and Baroda, which took place from 23-27 February 2024, citing back pain.

However, his claim was rejected by Nitin Patel, head of sports sciences and medicine at the National Cricket Academy, post which he made himself available for the semi-final against Tamil Nadu, which will start on Saturday, 2nd March.

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