'We would like to reiterate this decision has nothing to do with Shami's merit as a player but a safeguard in the prevailing circumstances.'
India fast bowler Mohammed Shami's central contract was on Wednesday withheld by the BCCI after his wife accused him of domestic violence and adultery, charges that were denied by the cricketer.
Shami's name was missing from the list of 26 contracted players released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India despite his starring role in India's only Test win in the recent tour of South Africa. The in-form Shami claimed a career-best five for 28 in the second innings of the third and final Test match against the Proteas.
This led to speculation about the reasons for his omission and a top BCCI official told PTI that the Board has held back his name owing to the charges levelled by his wife Hasin Jahan.
"The BCCI has taken cognisance of all the reports emerging about Mohammed Shami's personal life. It is purely a personal matter and the BCCI has nothing to do with it. However, keeping in mind that the woman in question has met the police commissioner of Kolkata, it is only prudent on BCCI's part to wait for any official inquiry to take place," the official said.
"Hence Mohammed Shami's name, for the time being, has been withheld from the central contracts that were announced today. We would like to reiterate this decision has nothing to do with Shami's merit as a player but a safeguard in the prevailing circumstances," he added.
It is learnt that the BCCI is wary of its image taking a beating if the allegations against Shami turn out to be true.
Jahan has accused Shami of domestic violence and adultery in social media posts but the bowler has rebutted the claims, calling them "lies". Jahan has, however, still not sought a divorce from the 27-year-old.
Shami has played 30 Tests for India, claiming 110 wickets so far. The injury-prone bowler has also appeared 50 ODIs and seven Twenty20 Internationals, picking up 91 and eight wickets respectively.
The fast bowler, who plays for Bengal, was recently in the spotlight when he was subjected to abuse on social media for posting pictures with Jahan. Trolls had called Jahan's outfits in the photos inappropriate.