Pacers Buvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have been roped into the A+, top bracket, of the BCCI pay grade for the 2017-18 season. The A+ category also includes skipper Virat Kohli, his limited-overs deputy Rohit Sharma, and opener Shikhar Dhawan. The players in this grade would earn Rs 7 crore as their annual retainer for the year.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who retired from Test cricket in 2014, and senior off-spinner R Ashwin found themselves relegated from the top-paid bracket. Both the players along with Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were included in Grade A.
In Grade B, pacer Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Dinesh Karthik were placed while Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Parthiv Patel, Jayant Yadav were put in Grade C.
Interestingly, fast bowler Mohammed Shami’s name wasn’t on the list of these contracted players. “The BCCI has taken cognisance of all the reports emerging about Mohammed Shami’s personal life. It is purely a personal matter and the BCCI has nothing to do with it. However, keeping in mind that the woman in question has met the police commissioner of Kolkata, it is only prudent on BCCI’s part to wait for any official inquiry to take place,” the official said.
“Hence Mohammed Shami’s name, for the time being, has been withheld from the central contracts that were announced today. We would like to reiterate this decision has nothing to do with Shami’s merit as a player but a safeguard in the prevailing circumstances,” he added.
The annual contracts are for the period from October 2017 to September 2018.
“The Committee of Administrators (CoA) was of the view that the performance and position of Indian Cricket needs to be recognised with the fee structure comparable to the best in the world,” the BCCI said in a statement.
“The CoA recognises that the actual income of the BCCI fluctuates on an annual basis depending on the number of home matches Team India (Senior Men) plays.
“Hence, to insulate the player compensation, the CoA has sanctioned the creation of a ‘Players Revenue/Compensation Equalisation Fund’ (PR/CEF) to which the BCCI will contribute approximately Rs 125 crore per annum from its surplus,” the BCCI statement read.
Among the women, World Cup stars Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana have been kept in the top bracket, under which the annual contract is worth Rs 50 lakh.
A+ [INR 7 crore]: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
A [INR 5 crore]: MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane,
B [INR 3 crore]: Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Dinesh Karthik
C [INR 1 crore]: Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Parthiv Patel, Jayant Yadav
Distribution of Annual Player Contracts Team India (Senior Women):
Grade A: Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana
Grade B: Poonam Yadav, Veda Krishnamurthy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Ekta Bisht, Shikha Pandey, Deepti Sharma.