New Delhi: Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin were relegated from the top bracket of the annual players contract.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Wednesday introduced a new Grade ‘A+’ category in the central contracts with an annual retainership of Rs. 7 crore. The top category includes only five players — captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
Dhoni, who only plays in the limited overs format, was relegated to the ‘A’ category with an annual retainership of Rs. 5 crore along with Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha.
Surprisingly, Mohammed Shami’s name is missing from the contracts list. The fast bowler was accused by his wife of domestic violence and adultery.
A top BCCI official later told media that the Bengal pacer’s name was withheld owing to the charges levelled by his wife Hasin Jahan.
The players in Grade ‘B’ will get an annual retainership of Rs. 3, while those in Grade ‘C’ will pocket Rs. 1 crore a year.
The annual contracts are for the period from October 2017 to September 2018.
“The Committee of Administrators (CoA) was of the view that the performance and position of Indian Cricket needs to be recognised with the fee structure comparable to the best in the world,” the BCCI said in a statement.
Among the women, World Cup stars Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana have been kept in the top bracket, under which the annual contract is worth Rs 50 lakh.
“The CoA recognises that the actual income of the BCCI fluctuates on an annual basis depending on the number of home matches Team India (Senior Men) plays.
“Hence, to insulate the player compensation, the CoA has sanctioned the creation of a ‘Players Revenue/Compensation Equalisation Fund’ (PR/CEF) to which the BCCI will contribute approximately Rs 125 crore per annum from its surplus,” the BCCI statement read.
Distribution of Annual Player Contracts Team India (Senior Men):
Grade A+ (Rs. 7 crore): Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
Grade A (Rs. 5 crore): Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Wriddhiman Saha.
Grade B (Rs. 3crore): KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Ishant Sharma.
Grade C: (Rs. 1 crore): Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel, Jayant Yadav.