Ramiz Raja said that the BCCI should not be giving MS Dhoni a Grade A contract as he no longer plays Test cricket. Raja said that cricket boards should respect the value of Test cricket and to do so, Grade A contracts should be given to players eligible for selection for Test matches. “You have to acknowledge and respect the status of Test match cricket and it has to come from the cricket boards, in Asia specifically,” said Raja.
“For example, MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket yet got the A-grade contract from the BCCI, Shahid Afridi retired from Test cricket yet got the A-grade contract from PCB,” he said. Raja’s opinion echoes the words of Ramchandra Guha in his resignation letter written to BCCI’s Committee of Administrators chairman Vinod Rai. “Unfortunately, the superstar syndrome has distorted the system of Indian team contracts. As you will recall, I had pointed out that awarding MS Dhoni an ‘A’ contract when he had explicitly ruled himself out from all Test matches was indefensible on cricketing grounds, and sends absolutely the wrong message,” Guha had written.
Ramiz Raja said that Grade A contracts should be given to Test players so as to protect the longest format of the game. “It is under a lot of stress in Asia but if we have a properly planned Test match championship, that’s the way out of this, otherwise we will be struggling to put aside as much money as is available for the T20 leagues,” said the former Pakistan captain. MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket in 2014 and relinquished his post has Indian captain in limited overs cricket earlier in 2017.