Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer. Photo- AFP
Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer. Photo- AFP

Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan, who were left out of the recent annual contracts by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), have been given a lifeline by the board as they are set to be named in the list of cricketers in NCA’s high-performance monitoring program.

Ishan Kishan had been on mental health leave since January 2024, and despite numerous efforts from Indian team management, he declined to play the Ranji Trophy for Jharkhand ahead of the England Test. He made his cricket comeback just before the IPL 2024.

On the other hand, Shreyas Iyer had complained of a reoccurrence of his back injury after the first two Tests against England. Instead of reporting to the NCA, Iyer decided to train with his IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and skipped a few matches for Mumbai. Though he did play for Mumbai in the knockout matches in the Ranji Trophy, he too faced the wrath of the BCCI.

Every chance that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan’s central contracts will be restored

Nearly two months after the duo was removed from the BCCI’s central contracts list at the request of the Ajit Agarkar-led national selection committee as punishment for missing Ranji Trophy matches last season, Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan have been included in the list of 30-odd-players for the National Cricket Academy’s (NCA) High-Performance Monitoring Programme for the 2024-25 domestic cricket season by the same selection panel.

“The BCCI, or the national selection committee has nothing against Iyer and Kishan. If they improve their attitude towards domestic cricket and turn out for their state teams (Mumbai and Jharkhand) in the forthcoming domestic season, there’s every chance that their central contracts will be restored and they will be recalled into the Indian team, if they perform well. This is a signal to them that they are on the radar of the selectors,” a well-placed source in the BCCI told TOI on Saturday.

Iyer has led the Kolkata Knight Riders to the IPL 2024 playoffs while Kishan’s Mumbai Indians were knocked out at the league stage.

This list includes primarily of players who do not have a central contract with the BCCI but are vying for a spot on the Indian team and will almost probably play for the India ‘A’ team in the upcoming season.

“At some stage (dates aren’t finalised) these 30 selected players for NCA’s high-performance programme are likely to undergo around a month-long camp at the new state-of-the-art NCA facility near Bengaluru under chairman VVS Laxman. The new NCA will be launched by the BCCI in August. Most of these players have done well in domestic cricket,” the source revealed.

List of players included in NCA’s program:

Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Musheer Khan, Mayank Yadav, Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, Kuldeep Sen, Harshit Rana, Khaleel Ahmed, Tushar Deshpande, Riyan Parag, Ashutosh Sharma, Sai Sudharsan, Devdutt Padikkal, Sai Kishore, Prithvi Shaw, Shams Mulani, and Tanush Kotian.

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