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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Explained: Why did T Natarajan miss out on a BCCI annual contract?

If Natarajan plays two more Test matches in England this year or six ODI or six T20I before September 2021, he will be included in the annual contracts list.

Written by Devendra Pandey , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: April 22, 2021 9:17:29 am
T Natarajan, BCCI, Natarajan BCCI contract, BCCI’s annual contract, Natarajan news, Explained sports, Express ExplainedNatarajan, who impressed everyone in Australia, played 1 Test, 2 ODIs and 4 T20I this season and failed to meet the criteria set by the board to get into the contracts list.(Twitter/@BCCI)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday announced its annual list of contracted players in which one of the notable omissions was that of T Natarajan, who missed out due to the criteria set by the board.

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What is BCCI’s annual contract?

Every year, the Indian board rewards its centrally- contracted players with annual contracts. It has four categories A+, A, B and C. Players in A+ grade get 7 crore per year as a retainership, those in Grade A get 5 crore, Grade B gets Rs 3 crore while Grade C gets one crore. The contracts are decided by the BCCI president, secretary and chairman of the selection committee.

How many players have been given BCCI annual contracts this season?

BCCI has chosen 28 players for its annual contract with Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah getting A+ contracts (7 crores). Those in Grade A (Rs 5 crore) are R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya. Grade B (Rs 3 crore) has Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur and Mayank Agarwal. Grade C (Rs 1 crore) includes Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Axar Patel, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Mohammed Siraj.

Who got promoted and relegated?

All-rounder Hardik Pandya was promoted to a Grade A contract as he was part of the squad for the home Test series against England. Leg-spinner Chahal and chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav slipped down to Grade C. Umesh Yadav too found himself in Grade B because he was part of the Test squad. Thakur was promoted to Grade B due his consistent performances last season. Siraj, who played five Tests last year, finds a place in Grade C. Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey weren’t awarded annual contracts.

What’s the criteria to award an annual contract?

A player has to play a minimum of three Tests or eight ODIs or 10 T20Is in a season to get an annual contract. Those who play all three formats on a consistent basis are handed A+ contracts.

The BCCI wants to keep Test cricket as the priority, so it has handed over Grade A contracts to players like Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma and R Ashwin. These players haven’t been picked for the shorter formats in recent times and only play Test cricket.

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Why has Natarajan not featured in the contracts list?

Natarajan, who impressed everyone in Australia, played 1 Test, 2 ODIs and 4 T20I this season and failed to meet the criteria set by the board to get into the contracts list. The left-arm medium pacer has been a sensation in the death overs for India. But he is not the only notable name to miss out. Opener Prithvi Shaw too didn’t get a contract as he played only one Test last season against Australia. As Shubman Gill played three Tests Down Under, he was included in the annual contracts list.

Can Natarajan still make it to the contracts list?

Yes, he can. If Natarajan plays two more Test matches in England this year or six ODI or six T20I before September 2021, he will be included in the annual contracts list. However, he won’t be paid the full amount, only on a pro-rata basis. Players like Suryakumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya too didn’t find a place but can make it if they play the number of games stipulated by the board.

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