After opting out of Ranji Trophy due to back pain, NCA says Shreyas Iyer is fit: Report

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) Shreyas Iyer, who was omitted from India’s squad for the last three Tests against England, had opted out of Mumbai’s upcoming Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Baroda, starting on Friday at the BKC Ground, due to back pain.

But a report in The Indian Express says Nitin Patel, the head of sports science and medicine at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, confirmed in an email to selectors, that Iyer has ‘no fresh injury’ and that he was ‘fit’.

“Shreyas Iyer was fit and available for selection as per the handover report of the Indian team after the 2nd Test match against England. There are currently no fresh injuries reported as well after his departure from Team India,” wrote Patel in the email to the selection committee, as cited in the report.

Iyer hadn’t left a mark in the first two Tests against England, making scores of 35 and 13 in Hyderabad, followed by scoring 27 and 29 in Visakhapatnam. In his last seven Test matches, he has amassed only 187 runs at an average of 17, with a top score of just 35.

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In Ranji Trophy, Iyer had made 48 in Mumbai’s ten-wicket win over Andhra as preparation for the England Test series. But after the omission from the Test squad, he didn’t play the last round of the competition.

“Iyer had complained of back spasms following the second Test in Visakhapatnam. “The national selectors, after taking inputs from the BCCI medical team, told Shreyas to play Ranji Trophy so that his back gets used to the strain of batting and being on the field for an extended period of time,” the report further said.

The confusion around Iyer’s status comes after Jay Shah, the BCCI Secretary, had warned the centrally-contracted and India ‘A’ cricketers over non-participation in domestic cricket, citing that a move like that from them to prioritize IPL over domestic cricket, would have ‘severe implications’.

“However, there is a trend that has started to emerge and is a cause for concern. Some players have begun prioritising the IPL over domestic cricket, a shift that was not anticipated. Domestic cricket has always been the foundation upon which Indian cricket stands, and it has never been undervalued in our vision for the sport.

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“It is essential to recognise that domestic cricket forms the backbone of Indian cricket and serves as the feeder line to Team India. Our vision for Indian cricket has been clear from the outset – every cricketer aspiring to play for India must prove themselves in domestic cricket. Performance in domestic tournaments remains a critical yardstick for selection, and non-participation in domestic cricket will carry severe implications,” Shah had said.

–IANS

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