In a move to pay more to Test cricketers and to reward incredible excellence, BCCI completely revamped its annual player contracts system and added the ‘A-plus’ category into the already existing A,B, and categories. This newly added ‘A-plus’ category features Indian skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
The players in this list will receive a whopping amount of 7 crores, the maximum among all contracted players.
The A-plus category is conceived to recognize sterling contributions from players who are at the pinnacle in their respective skills. This list includes Indian players who are in top 10 of ICC’s rankings and are a part of India’s team in all three formats.
Except for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the remaining four cricketers are among the top 10 in ICC rankings and what may have worked in Bhuvneshwar’s favor is his exceptional bowling skills that have made him an indispensable part of India’s bowling artillery in all formats.
The criteria of being part of Indian team for all three formats meant stalwarts such as MS Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane missed on A plus category and they were placed in the A category. The A category rewards players with 5 crores each and it also includes Test specialists such as Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara. The spin bowling duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are also a part of A category.
The interesting part though is the presence of wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha in the A category. His inclusion highlights the trust team management has in him and it also stamps his identity as India’s first-choice wicketkeeper in the longest format of the game.
Suresh Raina who didn’t bag any contract last year is placed in the C category which offers players 1 crore each. The B category (3 crores) and C category basically includes players from shorter formats and features most of India’s bowling attack. Mohammad Shami who is facing domestic acquisitions from his wife didn’t feature in the contract list.
The complete list of players according to contracts-
A+ category (7 crores)- Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
A category (5 crore)- MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Wriddhiman Saha.
B category (3 crore)- Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal.
C category (1 crore)- Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav.