'Forcefully, you can't do anything': Wriddhiman Saha on Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer snubs from BCCI central contract

In light of the BCCI’s decision to remove Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from the annual retainers list for the 2023-24 season, veteran Indian wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha commented on the importance of a cricketer’s voluntary participation in domestic cricket. He emphasized that nothing can be enforced upon a player if they choose not to engage in domestic cricket activities.

Saha’s remarks followed a period where Ishan Kishan took a break from cricket due to reported mental health fatigue during the South Africa tour. He recently returned to action in the DY Patil T20 tournament. Meanwhile, questions arose about Shreyas Iyer’s fitness status after being excluded from the Indian Test side during the England home series. However, Iyer has made himself available for selection in the upcoming Ranji Trophy semifinal match.

Highlighting the BCCI’s stance, Saha pointed out their recommendation for athletes to prioritize participation in domestic cricket during intervals when they are not part of the national team.

While refraining from commenting on the decisions made by Ishan and Iyer regarding their absence from domestic cricket, Saha stressed the significance of first-class cricket as the foundation for players to flourish.

“It’s the BCCI’s decision and the personal choice of the players involved. You can’t compel anyone,” remarked Saha.

Although Saha’s last appearance for India was in December 2021, he continues to actively participate in domestic cricket, representing Tripura. He emphasized the importance of treating every match with equal seriousness, advocating that such an approach aids players in their careers and benefits Indian cricket overall.

Saha also commended Dhruv Jurel’s performance in the Ranchi Test match against England, where India secured victory. Despite not witnessing Jurel’s play in domestic cricket, Saha praised his exceptional batting, noting his crucial contributions to India’s success in the Test series.

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