Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan questioned BCCI’s stance on star all-rounder Hardik Pandya after the board decided to exclude young cricketers Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from its annual central contracts for not making themselves available for domestic cricket despite being fit.

Both Kishan and Iyer opted out of Ranji Trophy matches despite strict orders from BCCI. The board, in an unprecedented move, decided to crack the whip.

“They are talented cricketers, both Shreyas and Ishan. Hoping they bounce back and come back stronger,” wrote Pathan on social media account X (earlier known as Twitter).

Urging the board to keep the same rules for all cricketers, Pathan questioned BCCI’s stance on Pandya. Hardik didn’t play a single Ranji Trophy match but he was not only retained in the central contract list but also kept in Grade A.

“If players like Hardik don’t want to play red-ball cricket, should he and others like him participate in white-ball domestic cricket when they aren’t on national duty? If this doesn’t apply to all, then Indian cricket won’t achieve the desired results!” wrote Pathan.