Jay Shah approaches Ishan Kishan, holds conversation

Jay Shah had a word with Ishan Kishan after the GT vs MI game in Ahmedabad. (Source: Screengrab)

Shamik Chakrabarty & Vaibhav Tripathi

The striking image came at the end of the Gujarat Titans versus Mumbai Indians game at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. BCCI secretary Jay Shah took Indian cricket’s ‘outcast’ Ishan Kishan aside and had a friendly conversation for a few minutes. Going by the body language of Shah, it felt like he wasn’t bearing a grudge. Far from it.

After the game that Titans won by six runs, MI ‘keeper was having a chat with his captain Hardik Pandya and Titans skipper Shubman Gill when Shah approached Kishan and took him aside. The BCCI secretary was speaking with a smile on his face, while Kishan was an attentive listener. Safe to assume, words of wisdom were whispered.

This was interesting, though, given that Kishan had fallen out with the Indian cricket hierarchy after abruptly returning from the South Africa tour in December last year. He then went AWOL and skipped Ranji Trophy matches, ignoring a clear directive from Shah that asked every centrally-contracted cricketer, who was not playing for the Indian team or doing his rehab at the National Cricket Academy, to feature in domestic red-ball cricket.

Kishan trained at Kiran More’s academy in Baroda instead and then played at the DY Patil T20 Cup. He made himself available for the IPL. The BCCI dropped him from the list of centrally contracted players.

The cricket board, however, is a cricketer-friendly organisation that doesn’t bear a grudge. At 25 years of age, Kishan is still very young. The way Shah spoke to him today, it gave a positive signal.

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