Ex-India Star’s “Why Would You Punish Hardik Pandya” Remark After Irfan Pathan Asks BCCI To Treat Players Equally

The BCCI recently announced the central contracts for year 2023-24. Among the trending names that failed to make a cut were Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan. With the contracts, the BCCI also reiterated the mandate that players need to participate in domestic matches while not on national duty. Iyer and Kishan were the two players who passes a period when they were neither playing for Indian team nor their respective domestic teams. In the follow-up, the two were not considered for the central contracts.

While many former India players appreciated the board for maintaining a strict policy regarding the players’ participation in domestic cricket, others pointed out that the rule is not the same for every player.

“They are talented cricketers, both Shreyas and Ishan. Hoping they bounce back and come back stronger. 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 former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan on X, formerly Twitter.

Another ex-India player Aakash Chopra though differed in opinion with Pathan and backed Pandya with facts.

Hardik Pandya‘s case is very simple. He is not playing red-ball cricket. That ambition or aspiration does not exist anymore. He has not said that as such, but the truth is that he is not available at all for any Test series. So if you are not at all auditioning for Tests, no one will ask you to play first-class cricket. Why would you play four-day games when you don’t have that much strength in your body to bowl so many overs and have injury problems? So why should he play (first-class cricket),” said Chopra on his YouTube channel.

“If he stops for India despite being fit. If he is on break and doesn’t want to play Syed Mushtaq Ali or Vijay Hazare Trophy for promotion or a video shoot or other such works. Then you can say he is wrong. But currently he is not. And why would you punish him if he has not made a mistake?” he added.

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