Suggestion for A+ category player contracts came from Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni

  • BCCI introduced A+ category player contracts worth INR 7 crore on Wednesday (7 March)
  • It has now been reported that the suggestion to introduce the new top-tier high-paying player contracts for Team India, was made by India captain Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni
  • BCCI chairman Vinod Rai clarified about the logic behind the introduction of A+ category player contracts

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) introduced new A+ category player contracts worth INR 7 crore for the country’s top players on Wednesday (March 7) and it has now been revealed that the brains behind the restructured contract categories came from none other than incumbent India captain Virat Kohli and former skipper MS Dhoni.

A+ category player contracts were suggested by Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, two modern stalwarts of Indian cricket suggested to the national selection panel that it is only fair to recognise the best performers in Indian cricket and reward them for maintaining those high standards throughout the year. Hence, the A+ category player contracts.

It must be noted that the suggestion for renewed terms for players was originally given by former India head coach Anil Kumble, who initiated the discussions about the pay structure, first among senior players and then with the Committee of Administrators (CoA). As per the model prescribed by Kumble, the top-end contract for a player would have been worth INR 5 crore, however, the A+ category player contract involves INR 7 crore for each player.

Taking Kumble’s suggestions into account and acting on their own wisdom, the two-member CoA body, comprising chairman Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji, along with the BCCI chief executive officer Rahul Johri held multiple rounds of meetings with captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and coach Ravi Shastri. It was during one of these sessions in December last year that the players recommended establishing the A+ category contract.

“This suggestion originated from Virat and MS in the discussions. Their logic was this category would have only players featuring in all three formats, players who are in the top-10 rankings. They wanted a category of pure excellence where you perform and you are rewarded. And hence the players would not occupy a permanent slot in this category because if you don’t perform then you slip down the order,” Vinod Rai told ESPNcricinfo.

Rai also made it clear that the Committee of Administrators had no role to play in the process of shortlisting players for different categories and it was entirely left to the national selection panel comprising chairman MSK Prasad, Sarandeep Singh and Devang Gandhi. They decided Test specialists and those in the top 15 of the ICC rankings would populate Grade A. It is also understood that the players shortlisted in B and C categories, limited-overs specialists, were primarily picked for their ODI performances only.

THE NEW BCCI PLAYER CONTRACT SLABS

1. A+ Category (INR 7 crore)

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah

2. A Category (INR 5 crore)

MS Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Wriddhiman Saha

3. B Category (INR 3 crore)

KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Dinesh Karthik

4. C Category (INR 1 crore)

Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel, Jayant Yadav

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