Shreyas Iyer in doubt for initial matches of IPL 2024

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Shreyas Iyer has hurt his back again and may miss the first half of the IPL 2024. During his 95-run knock against Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy final, Iyer’s back injury resurfaced again, for which, the cricketer underwent surgery in 2023. It kept him out of action for a long period, as he made his return during the Asia Cup in September.

The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) hasn’t released the details of Iyer’s injury but as per a source close to the team, ‘it’s not looking good’. It is being reported that the player would not take the field on Day 5 of the Ranji Trophy final and miss the initial matches of the IPL.

“It’s not looking good. It’s the same back injury which has got aggravated. It’s unlikely that he will take the field on Day 5 of the Ranji Trophy final. He is in danger of missing the initial matches of the IPL,” a source told The Times of India.

Meanwhile, during the England series, Iyer complained about his back pain but he eventually got dropped after the second Test. He opted out of Mumbai’s quarterfinal match against Baroda in the Ranji Trophy citing back pain but interestingly, the National Cricket Academy (NCA) medical head Nitin Patel gave him the fit certificate, which eventually played a massive part in his getting axed from BCCI’s annual central contract.

When it comes to the IPL, it is a massive blow for the two-time champions. Last year, they missed his service owing to the same injury as Nitish Rana was made the captain of the team. Also, in 2023, the franchise was hopeful that Iyer would be available to play the second half of the IPL but that didn’t happen. They would be hoping that the same thing doesn’t happen in 2024. Meanwhile, in Iyer’s absence, Rana is likely to lead the team again. When it comes to the playing XI, Manish Pandey can replace Iyer but nothing has been decided yet.

The KKR players and the support staff are slated to reach Kolkata on March 14 as they will play their opening game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on March 23. Meanwhile, it needs to be seen if the franchise addresses the Iyer situation after their camp begins in Kolkata.