Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has not been included in the BCCI’s list of centrally contracted players for the 2019-20 season. The list of 27 men cricketers who have been given a contract and 22 women players was released by the Board on Thursday. The Ranchi cricketer has not played a single game for Team India since the semis of the ICC World Cup in July. He had held an ‘A’ category in 2018-19.
His omission might mean that the wicket-kepeer’s days with the Men in Blue are numbered. Recently MSK Prasad, the chief selector, had mentioned that the team had “moved on” from Dhoni.
BCCI Central Contracts for 2019-20
|Grade A+ (INR 7 cr)||Grade A (INR 5 cr)||Grade B (INR 3 cr)||Grade C (INR 1 cr)|
|Virat Kohli||R Ashwin||Wriddhiman Saha||Shreyas Iyer|
|Rohit Sharma||R Jadeja||Umesh Yadav||Navdeep Saini|
|Jasprit Bumrah||Bhuvneshwar Kumar||Yuzvendra Chahal||Shardul Thakur|
|Cheteshwar Pujara||Hardik Pandya||Washington Sundar|
|Ajinkya Rahane||Mayank Agarwal||Deepak Chahar|
|KL Rahul||Hanuma Vihari|
|Shikhar Dhawan||Manish Pandey|
|Mohd. Shami||Kedar Jadhav|
While Dhoni has refused to comment on his future in international colours and had stated that there would be a clarity by January 2020, Ravi Shastri, the head coach, had mentioned that Dhoni could possibly play for India in the World T20 Cup that will be held in Australia from October, if his IPL returns were up to the mark.
As far as the contract goes, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah are the only three players in the A+ category, and will walk home with a whopping sum of INR 7 crore.
KL Rahul, who was given a Grade B contract in 2018-19 cycle has been promoted to Grade A while Mohammad Shami retains his Grade A spot and will pocket INR 5 crore. Wriddhiman Saha moved up from Grade C to B and will earn INR 3 crore, while Rishabh Pant retains his Grade A contract despite losing his Test spot to Saha. Mayank Agarwal was awarded his first central contract and has been given a Grade B contract.
Shreyas Iyer, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar have been handed Grade C contracts, taking home INR 1 crore.
Dinesh Karthik, Khaleel Ahmed, Ambati Rayudu, however, lost out on their contracts along with Dhoni.