The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has introduced a revamped contract system for the Indian players. The new system sees a new category of A+ being introduced and to the shock of many, big name players like MS Dhoni and R Ashwin were missing from that category.
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are the only five players to be placed in A+ category, ensuring them annual contracts worth Rs seven crore each.
MS Dhoni and R Ashwin have been bracketed in the A category along with Ravindra Jadeja, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha and these players would be eligible for a contract of Rs five crore.
Suresh Raina makes a comeback to the annual contract list, as Yuvraj Singh and Rishabh Pant were omitted from the list, despite holding contracts last year.
Asked about Dhoni being kept out of top bracket, a senior BCCI official said: "It's a simple logic that selectors have applied. Play more and get paid more. The five in question are indispensable in all three formats right now. They deserved to be paid more. Also Ravi Shastri, Kohli and Dhoni have been taken into confidence."
"The second group comprises players who are certainties in at least one format like Saha and Pujara. They are in second group because of their dependability in at least one format," he said.
"Dhoni has retired and Ashwin, Jadeja are no longer automatic selections in limited overs. They are as of now not in WC scheme. So in second category," the official added.
B category, which fetches Rs three crore each, features KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma and Dinesh Karthik. While category C, which fetches Rs 1 crore each, features the likes of Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel and Jayant Yadav.
"The third group (B) comprises of players who are considered as floaters and can be put in anywhere and players who have played at least one match for India in the last one year have been put in Grade C," the official said.
The annual contracts are for the period from October 2017 to September 2018. The previous Rs 2 crore (top category), the CoA-led BCCI increased it by 350 percent to make it Rs 7 crore. The second category has seen 500 percent rise at Rs 5 crore.
Domestic cricketers who are first XI players will now get Rs 35,000 per day in a four-day game making their match fees rocket from Rs 40,000 to Rs 1.40 lakh per match. Add to it the TV rights money will make their per match fee go up to Rs 3 lakh per match.
"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.
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.
(With inputs from DNA India)