Former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram has batted for the Test specialists to get better contracts from their respective cricket boards. Akram feels Test cricket will always remain the pinnacle and any player excel in the toughest format deserves to stay in the top bracket of central contracts.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the Annual Player Contracts for its men and women cricketers on Wednesday (March 7), as per which white-ball specialists Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will earn more than the seasoned Test cricketers like Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Pujara, one of the leading members of the Indian Test set-up, does not feature in any other format of the game and unfortunately doesn’t boast an IPL contract either.
“Test specialists should (get more). Because that’s the most difficult cricket,” Akram told Sport360 during an event in Dubai.
Akram further went on to say that players put their bodies on the line in red-ball cricket and there should be a reward for those who show determination to shine in it.
“That’s where you get hit by bouncers, you get hit on your head, on your fingers as a batsman. Bowlers bowl longer spells.
“That’s where the mindset of those who run cricket boards (matters). They should realise Test cricket is the ultimate and everything else follows,” he added.
For the very first time, the world’s richest cricket board (BCCI) announced the addition of a new category (A+) for its centrally contracted men players, who consistently feature in all three formats of cricket. The likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan are the first set of players to appear in A+ category and will earn INR 7 crores.
Most of India’s Test specialists now find themselves in the A category. It includes players such as Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni and Wriddhiman Saha and they will fetch INR 5 crores.
The worth of Test specialists’ contract may have jumped from 20 to 50 million rupees but they find themselves way behind Rohit and Dhawan as a share of the overall pie. The contract value of Rohit and Dhawan has risen from 10 and 5 million rupees respectively to 70 million rupees.