Today, BCCI released new annual contract list of international players for the period between October 2019 and September 2019. In a surprise exclusion BCCI does not include Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the retainer list for the current cycle.
Dhoni has not played any kind of competitive cricket since he took sabbatical after the 2019 World Cup. Dhoni had made himself unavailable for the selection just after the World Cup Semi-Final loss and ever since he has not made a comeback or might not be allowed by the selectors to make a comeback.
BCCI’s contract period starts from October to September and this might also be the reason of Dhoni not being given a central contract as Dhoni has not played any international match since October 2019.
Having last played international cricket in July, it makes sense for the board to not give him an annual contract whose period ranges from October 2019 to September 2020.
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Chetan Naruka also posted the same on his twitter account. He tweeted, “Don’t get the fuss about Dhoni not being given a central contract… apart from the obvious rumour mongering. Period of contract is Oct 2019 to Sep 2020. He hasn’t played till now, he might not play till then. T20 WC is in October as is preceding Australia series.“
In a recent interaction with PTI, a BCCI official also tried to give reason behind the scene and said that BCCI has already informed the cricketer about it, He said, “Let me clarify that one of the top-most BCCI office-bearers spoke to MS [Dhoni] and told him about how they are going about in the central contracts. He was clearly told that since he hasn’t played any game in the said period [September 2019 till date], he cannot be included for the time being,” to PTI.
Along with Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik have also failed to earn contracts from BCCI.
Here is the List of contracted players by BCCI for the cycle October 2019 to September 2020 –
Grade A+ (INR 7 crore): Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
Grade A (INR 5 crore): Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohd. Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant.
Grade B (INR 3 crore): Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal.
Grade C (INR 1 crore): Kedar Jadhav, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar.