The BCCI is set to change its Central Contract policy and, for the first time, is set to reward T20 performances. In future, anybody who has played a minimum of 10 T20Is for India could be in line for a central contract.
Previously the system was that to be considered for a contract, a player had to have played in at least 3 tests or 7 ODIs. An exception was made, however, last year for spinner Washington Sundar, in recognition of his substantial contribution in the shortest form of the game.
Currently, the BBCI segregates central contracts into four tiers, with the elite A tier at the top of the pyramid. Those in tier A get Rs 7 crore a year, B 5 crore, C 3 crore, and D one crore. Last year only three players were included in the exclusive A group – Indian team captain Virat Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma, and fast bowler, Jasprit Bumrah. It has not yet been announced which category T20 players will fall into, but the likelihood is that they will be assigned to D.
The change reflects the growing importance of T20 cricket to India, both in terms of sporting success and revenue generation. When crowds are allowed into grounds, T20Is attract far more fans than the other forms of the game, and they usually have a different age and socio-economic profile as well. They tend to be younger and more socially mobile, which makes them more attractive to advertisers.
India are set to play their first T20I for nearly 10 months on December 4th, when they face Australia in Canberra. Two more matches will follow in Sydney.
The T20I are being bracketed by three ODIs and then the Test Series, which gets underway in Adelaide on December 17th.