The BCCI announced their central contracts for the upcoming season 2019-20 and dropped the former India captain, MS Dhoni, from this. Dhoni hasn’t played since the World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand in Manchester. He was earlier in Category A.
The payment structures for all the four categories are the same, where the captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah remain in the category A+ contracts and will get a payout of 7 crores.
KL Rahul has been promoted to Grade A for his successful domestic, as well as, international performance. A few new faces have included with the likes of Navdeep Saini, Mayank Agarwal (Grade B), Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, and Deepak Chahar, etc.
Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Ishant Sharma, who are placed in Grade A. Meanwhile, Wriddhiman Saha is in Grade B.
Why MS Dhoni excluded from BCCI Annual contracts
However, Dhoni’s exclusion raised many questions but as per the reports, he was informed beforehand about the contracts.
“Let me clarify that one of the top-most BCCI office-bearers spoke to MS and told him about how they are going about in the central contracts. He was clearly told that since he hasn’t played any game in the said period (September 2019 till date), he cannot be included for the time being,“ the official said to PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“Let’s not get into who spoke. The fact is that a player of his stature needs to be told that he is not being awarded a central contract for the time being and it was done in an appropriate manner,” he added.
MS Dhoni can be added back in the BCCI Annual Contract
However, the official further said that if MS Dhoni makes it to the ICC World T20 team in Australia (October 2020, after current contracts’ duration ends) or even before that, he can be added on a pro-rata basis.
“There will be an Asia Cup T20 (likely to be shifted from Pakistan) and if Dhoni plays a certain number of matches, he will be automatically included. It’s not like he has been dumped for good. It’s just that he doesn’t qualify because he has not played,” the official said.
Rules for being in the BCCI Annual Contract?
As per the existing rule for awarding central contracts, a player needs to play in a minimum of three Tests or eight ODIs. MS Dhoni can also get in by playing a number of T20 games.
“Like Washington Sundar has played 21 T20 Internationals and at least more than 10 in the current season and with more T20s this year, he got a contract. Similarly, Wriddhiman (Saha) had a group C contract last year when he was injured,” he explained.
“To get into group B, currently, you need to play three Tests and he fulfilled the criteria during the home season. Same for Mayank Agarwal. That’s how it works,” the official explained. If Prithvi Shaw is selected in the Indian team and plays just one more Test, he will get a Grade B contract on a pro-rata basis,” he concluded.
BCCI Contracts for 2020
Grade A+ (INR 7 CR): Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah
Grade A (INR 5 Cr): R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant
Grade B (INR 3 Cr): Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal
Grade C (INR 1 CR): Kedar Jadhav, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar