Cricket

Shreyas Iyer Back Pain Controversy: NCA Says Batter Fit, After He Skips Ranji Trophy QF - Report

India batter Shreyas Iyer had earlier told the Mumbai Cricket Association that he will not play the Ranji Trophy 2024 quarter-final against Baroda due to back pain. But NCA's sports science and medicine head Nitin Patel has reportedly e-mailed the national selectors, saying there are "no fresh injuries reported"

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Shreyas Iyer was omitted from the India squad for the last three Test matches against England. Photo: File
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The status of India middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer's back pain is up for scrutiny, a day after he cited it as the reason for his unavailability for Mumbai's Ranji Trophy 2024 quarter-final match against Baroda. The National Cricket Academy's sports science and medicine head Nitin Patel has reportedly told the national selectors that Iyer is fit and that there are "no fresh injuries reported". (More Cricket News)

Iyer had told the Mumbai Cricket Association on Wednesday, February 21 that he will not play the game against Baroda due to back pain, according to an Indian Express report. But Patel has sent an e-mail to the selectors, informing that the 29-year-old batter has no injury concerns, as per the report.

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“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,” the report quotes Patel as stating in his e-mail.

The reported e-mail raises questions around the actual injury status, and whether Iyer is prioritising his readiness for the upcoming Indian Premier League season over his domestic red-ball commitments. The batter has been confirmed as the captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of the 2024 IPL season.

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Jay Shah had clearly stated last week that non-participation of centrally-contracted and India A cricketers in the domestic circuit would have "severe implications". India wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan, who had withdrawn from the Test tour of South Africa citing ‘personal reasons’, chose not to play Jharkhand’s final Ranji group match against Rajasthan.

The back issue is not something new for Iyer. He had missed last year’s IPL edition owing to a back injury and later made a comeback during the Asia Cup, after which he amassed 530 runs in the 2023 ODI World Cup at home at an impressive average of 66.25.

But the back spasms resurfaced during the India vs England Test series, wherein the aggressive right-hander scored 35, 13, 27 and 39 in the first two Tests before he was omitted from the squad for the last three matches. Iyer had reportedly complained of back spasms during the second game.

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